Climate Change, the Environment and Global Development

Part of Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill (Programme) – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 6:00 pm, 10th July 2019

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that we are spending £45 million on supporting this technology, and we published an action plan last November, but of course we need to do more.

In a strong speech, my right hon. and learned Friend Sir Oliver Heald talked about transport and the importance of changing behaviour in the sector, which is such a big emitter of carbon. I highlight the £1.5 billion that goes with the “Road to Zero” strategy, which was published last year, and the private sector is rapidly responding to the signals sent out from this place.

All the UK car companies have now developed electric models, including today’s welcome news about the Mini in Oxford and the wonderful news about Jaguar Land Rover in the midlands. Even in my constituency, Morgan Motor Company, known for its traditional cars, will have an electric model. My right hon. and learned Friend will be interested to know that 1,000 charging points a month are now being installed across the UK, which exceeds our expectations. The sector is rapidly responding to the signals we have sent out from this place.

Chris Law made an excellent speech about what Scotland is doing, and he made the valid point that the minority SNP Government may have examples of best practice from which England and other parts of the UK can learn.

My hon. Friend Gillian Keegan made an amazing speech, and I salute her work as co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on the United Nations global goals for sustainable development. With her experience of the car industry, she made some powerful points about how we are bringing people with us.

Rachel Reeves, who is Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, made a powerful speech about how this is an opportunity for the UK to lead the next industrial revolution, and she highlighted some of the Committee’s excellent work in this area.

My hon. Friend Stephen Kerr spoke at some length—I am now looking at the time to make sure I am not also going over—and he highlighted the importance of our moving beyond single-use plastics. As a member of the Select Committee, he spoke with great knowledge of trees, electric vehicles and a range of other important areas. He also spoke of the importance of cross-party work in Scotland.

I am glad that the hearing aid of John Mc Nally did not cause any faltering in his excellent speech as a member of the Environmental Audit Committee. Wera Hobhouse highlighted that this is not a new issue. I am old enough to remember the slogan “Plant a tree in ‘73”. I will not embarrass the House by asking other hon. Members to acknowledge that they remember that, but it is something that we have been doing for a while. We need to act faster and go further. I diverged from her only on her feeling that we would be helped in doing that by being a member of the European Union. We are going further and faster than the European Union which was not able to reach consensus on the issue recently.

The shadow Minister talked about the importance of climate finance. The UK has led the world in green finance. We published a further green finance strategy last week, and the leadership of Mark Carney at the Bank of England has been strong in this area, including on disclosure in annual reports. The City of London has shown itself able to attract a lot of listings, and we have more than $25 billion of funding going into green developments, which has happened as a result of the UK’s leadership in this area. We need to carry on with that because such investments can often be very capital intensive.

Looking to the future, I am confident that the UK can lead from the front in helping the world to drive the change necessary. That is why debates like today’s are important, timely and effective. I thank everyone who has generated the strong amount of consensus in this important debate today.

Question put and agreed to.


That this House
has considered tackling climate change, protecting the environment and securing global development.