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

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:59 pm on 11th September 2020.

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Photo of Anna McMorrin Anna McMorrin Shadow Minister (International Development) 1:59 pm, 11th September 2020

I want to thank Members on both sides of the House for their contributions to the debate today. Some really important points were made and I thank Members for the rigorous scrutiny that they provided. In creating legislation, it is so important that a Bill is properly scrutinised and improved upon.

I thank my hon. Friend Sarah Jones for her support for the Bill and her contribution on the vital need for legislation, and most importantly, green legislation that is inclusive, getting communities involved in renewables and retrofitting and ensuring that that helps our economy. My thanks also go to my right hon. Friend Mr McFadden, my Front-Bench colleague, who made very important points about making this Bill a reality.

I thank John Lamont for his warm words on the role of co-operatives and their ability to really help us to deliver sustainability. That goes for many colleagues across the House who echoed those words in their speeches, so I thank Members for that. I also thank Kevin Hollinrake for co-sponsoring the Bill and his warm words today. I thank as well Co-operatives UK, which wants this Bill and its values to go further.

It was really heartening to hear the overall support for the values and aims of the Bill, with one notable exception, Sir Christopher Chope, who was clear, in his condescending tone and remarks, what he thought. I suppose that that should not come as a surprise from someone who labels climate change as “scaremongering”, but that was the exception, so I thank hon. Members.

I do not attest that my Bill provides all the solutions that we need, but it does provide a legislative blueprint for how communities can work together towards creating a more sustainable green society. While the world’s attention is rightly focused on the coronavirus crisis, the climate crisis rages on and it is my sincere hope that, from this current crisis, we will build a more secure, equal and sustainable future that has transformational change and environmental needs at its heart. That has been highlighted by the scale of the awful covid health crisis that we are currently going through.

We cannot go back to business as usual. That is why I thank the Minister and his officials for their support and all the discussions we have had over the last months, as well as for his words today and his overall support for the values and aims of this Bill. Although it is disappointing that he and the Government will not support it today, I hope that we can continue to work together to thrash something out, including with Members here today who have spoken about the broad general aims of the Bill, and see whether we can get something workable into legislation that can really make a difference.

As it is clear that the Government are not going to support the Bill, I will be withdrawing it. So with the leave of the House, Mr Deputy Speaker, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Bill withdrawn.