Climate Change

Part of Kew Gardens (Leases) (No. 3) Bill [Lords] (Programme) – in the House of Commons at 6:22 pm on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Simon Clarke Simon Clarke Conservative, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland 6:22 pm, 24th June 2019

I do. That is not a counsel of despair. In many ways, we are setting a powerful example that other countries will be inspired to follow. By legislating for net zero, we start to create some of the economic opportunities that other countries will, in turn, be keen to seize. We can set a powerful moral and economic example for other countries to follow. I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for his kind words. He, too, has fought long and hard to make this happen, and I thank him for that.

On the economic opportunity, I will briefly bang the drum for carbon capture and storage. The CCC is absolutely clear in its report that we need to deliver CCS—[Interruption.] Contrary to what Chris Law said from a sedentary position, the Government are now taking CCS as an integral part of their green industrial strategy. We need to make sure that we get a number of clusters rolled out as quickly as possible, and one of those should be Teesside. I praise the work of the Teesside Collective, which is a pioneering group of industrial companies, all of whom want to see this happen, not least because there are certain industries such as steel, cement, plastics and fertilisers that emit CO2 as an inextricable part of their production techniques. Even if we fully decarbonised our energy mix, those sectors would still need CCS to avoid contributing to our carbon emissions.

Finally, this is a wonderful example of how the UK can take a moral lead in the world after Brexit, and I praise how we are fighting to deliver the COP 26, alongside Italy, as part of our efforts. If we secure that, I hope we will make the drive for net zero an integral part of our prospectus for the conference.