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

We have obviously taken advice on the 2050 target from the independent Committee on Climate Change, which has suggested that at the moment 2050 is the earliest possible date for reaching net zero. Obviously, we are the first G7 country to make that commitment to 2050. Other economies, such as Norway, have committed to 2038. As part of the Government’s local industrial strategy, the Greater Manchester area committed, just last week, to a net zero target by 2038. I welcome the NFU’s commitment, but what we are saying as a Government is that all agencies across society will need to take action.

We welcome the NFU’s leadership on agricultural emissions and looking at how the agricultural sector can be decarbonised. However, when it comes to the framework of the Climate Change Act, as the right hon. Member for Doncaster North highlighted during the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, the review mechanism is built into the legislation to allow us the opportunity to review the target in five years. When it comes to the overall cost—and some hon. Members may wish to reflect on the costs of going from 80% to 100%—the review mechanism is important. The Committee on Climate Change has recommended that the overall cost envelope of reaching net zero be the same as the 80% envelope, because since the original 80% target was set out, the costs of renewables and other technology have come down.