Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies (Environmentally Sustainable Investment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:24 pm on 11th September 2020.

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Photo of Steve Double Steve Double Conservative, St Austell and Newquay 1:24 pm, 11th September 2020

I will not give way again. But I know from my postbag that the events of the last few weeks have actually put off people who were on this journey with us. I am just putting down a marker and saying that I am genuinely worried that unless we stop polarising this debate—unless we stop just attacking and engage constructively—it will be counterproductive to the cause, which I am sure the vast majority of us in this place wholeheartedly agree with.

We should start by acknowledging what our country is doing—what our Government have been doing and are going to continue to do—in a constructive way. Yes, absolutely, there is more to do—none of us would say there is not—but if we can start by acknowledging what has been achieved and the commitments in place, rather than adopting the approach that so often comes from Opposition Members, I believe we would get far more people onboard and make far more progress.

My plea is simply: yes, we want more investment in green technologies; yes, we want more sustainable investment, under whatever model we choose for our economy, but let us do it in a way that is collaborative, seeking the same outcome and stop polarising the debate and giving in to the extremists. That is my plea. There are many things in the Bill that I wholeheartedly support, but I share many of the concerns that the Minister outlined about the unanswered questions. If we are really going to fight climate change in this country, let us do it together and stop attacking each other over it.