Climate Change

Part of Kew Gardens (Leases) (No. 3) Bill [Lords] (Programme) – in the House of Commons at 5:43 pm on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education) 5:43 pm, 24th June 2019

I beg to move,

That the draft Climate Change Act 2008 (2050 Target Amendment) Order 2019, which was laid before this House on 12 June, be approved.

It is an honour to be in the House debating this order less than two weeks after this seminal legislation was laid in Parliament. I should say that I stand here as the interim Minister for Energy and Clean Growth—as an understudy to my right hon. Friend Claire Perry. It is a tribute to her efforts that we are debating this measure today. I am sure that she would have dearly loved to be at the Dispatch Box speaking to it herself. I pay tribute to her work, her industry, and, above all, her passion, which is testament to the legislation that is being taken through today.

The draft order would amend the 2050 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target in the Climate Change Act 2008 from at least 80% to at least 100%. That target, otherwise known as net zero, would constitute a legally binding commitment to end the United Kingdom’s contribution to climate change.

Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a sobering report on the impact of global warming at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. In that report, it made clear that a target set to limit global warming at 2°C above pre-industrial levels was no longer enough. It made clear that by limiting warming to 1.5°C, we may be able to mitigate some of the effects on health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth. It made clear that countries across the world, including the United Kingdom, would need to do more. The House has heard of the great progress we have made in tackling climate change together, cross-party, and how we have cut emissions by 42% since 1990 while growing the economy by 72%.