Clause 4 - Multi-annual financial assistance plans

Part of Agriculture Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 12th October 2020.

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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 6:30 pm, 12th October 2020

I have turned, I fear.

Amendment 17 is another well-intentioned amendment, but it would add an unnecessary layer of complication. The Secretary of State is already required to have regard to the Government’s commitment to achieving net zero under the Climate Change Act 2008. The Government have also introduced carbon budgets, which cap emissions over successive five-year periods. If we are to achieve the UK’s net zero target, emissions reductions will be needed in all sectors. Not setting sector-specific targets allows us to meet our climate change commitments in the best and speediest way. Agriculture has an important role to play in reducing emissions, but we must recognise that planting trees and restoring peatland will take a very long time—probably not my lifetime—to deliver the best results.

We will continue to work closely on that issue with the NFU and others, including the greenhouse gas action plan partners.