Climate Change, the Environment and Global Development

Part of Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill (Programme) – in the House of Commons at 4:58 pm on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Kerr Stephen Kerr Conservative, Stirling 4:58 pm, 10th July 2019

There is sometimes a very strong case for minority Governments, in the sense that we do then have to depend more on reaching out across the Floor of the House. It is true that all the measures that we are discussing on the environment and climate change have pretty much the unanimous support of the Scottish Parliament, and that is a strength. It is a political strength, because when the time comes to change the Scottish Government in 2021 to a Conservative Scottish Government led by Ruth Davidson, we can be sure that those policies will continue.

Upgrading the housing stock should become a national mission; it should become a national infrastructure priority. The Government should now set out their response to the National Infrastructure Commission recommendations in relation to social housing and should come forward with their own proposals to unlock the able-to-pay residential sector.

We need to consider incentives for the adoption of new technologies in heating, insulation and energy generation, and we need to do that across all types of houses. In King’s Park, in my constituency of Stirling, many of my constituents tell me that they spend a fortune on heating their homes because the heat disappears through the single-glazed windows and old-fashioned roofs that they are required to have in the conservation area that they live in. I am a Conservative so I am all for conserving, but it is equally important that we conserve with consideration to the environment. Improving the insulation of our homes and upgrading the housing stock is an investment with a return, as was mentioned earlier, in lower energy consumption and lower energy bills and, as I have said, better physical and mental health. Pound for pound this is a sound national investment from every aspect.