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Australian Bushfires

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:20 pm on 9th January 2020.

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Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 12:20 pm, 9th January 2020

I thank the hon. Lady: our hearts go out to her friends and family in Australia. Sometimes in the Chamber, speeches and questions are quite difficult to make and ask, but it is great that she is here to give that extra oomph.

We have the chair of COP 26 with Italy, so we are absolutely taking climate change as the No. 1 priority. In every embassy around the world, every ambassador and every high commissioner has it as their No.1 priority to talk to other Governments and encourage greater and more ambitious targets for those countries. In particular, we will continue with the Paris agreement and make sure that those commitments are guaranteed going forward. President Claire O’Neill, late of this parish as the Member for Devizes, recently met other energy Ministers at COP25 in Madrid to bang the drum and make clear that this is our No.1 priority.

In respect of any changes to financial matters, I am afraid the hon. Lady will have to wait for the Chancellor’s Budget, but that is not very far away in March.

On the roll-out of electric charging points, I am proud to have two charging points in Swadlincote in South Derbyshire, and £4 million has been put to one side for councils to bid for so that they can have charging points.