Climate Change

Part of Kew Gardens (Leases) (No. 3) Bill [Lords] (Programme) – in the House of Commons at 6:08 pm on 24th June 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alan Whitehead Alan Whitehead Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Climate Change) 6:08 pm, 24th June 2019

Indeed, Madam Deputy Speaker. I assure you that I have about half a page to go, so I hope that that will keep the timetable intact.

What plans do the Government have to proceed urgently with negative carbon policies? We will be on hand to help them if they want to bring in those policies at an early stage.

Finally, the Minister will no doubt have been copied into the recent letter from the Chancellor concerning legislating for net zero, in which he urged that there should not be legislation until a review of the costs had been carried out by the Treasury. The letter was widely regarded as being somewhat climate economic illiterate, in that it set out only the costs and not the benefits of moving forward in this way. As I said, the Committee on Climate Change indicated that in its opinion the GDP cost of 1% to 2% was unchanged from when the 80% target was set—this was presumably approved by the Treasury. Indeed, as Lord Stern reminded us in his seminal report of 2006, which seems a long time ago, the GDP costs of doing nothing might be several times as much.

Will the Minister provide assurance on that point? Indeed, I take it from the fact that we have this legislation, and that it has not been put off to some time in the future, that the Treasury’s rather insidious advice has not been taken on board. Might it not be a good idea to set out in the round and well in advance what the overall costs and benefits of moving to this target will be? I look forward to the jobs in the low-carbon industries that we will set to work replacing our infrastructure, so that it works for a green future; the immense improvements in the quality of our environment that the measure will bring; and the assurance that we will leave a world fit for our children and grandchildren to live in. That surely does not have a price, but, if it does, it is well worth paying.