I wish to focus my remarks on amendments 1 and 2, tabled in the name of the Leader of the Opposition. As my right hon. Friend Mr McFadden said, the amendments are desperately needed now to ensure that regulators must take into account the Government’s target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. I was therefore disappointed to hear from the Minister that the Government will not support the amendments but might “consider” the matter “in the future”. We cannot afford to wait. Climate emissions are cumulative, and a large part of the carbon that we produce today will stay in the atmosphere for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
If we are serious about tackling the climate emergency and reaching our 2050 target, we must reduce our emissions as quickly as possible. The sensible and least-destructive way to do that is to start to adapt our economy now; the irresponsible thing would be to leave it too late, thereby making the inevitable economic adjustment more painful for everyone. Regulation is one of the most powerful tools in our box of options and will ensure that the whole financial sector is unified in its actions towards this really important goal and, most crucially, acts within a timeframe that reflects the climate emergency we face.
I do not want my two young children to ask me one day why I missed the opportunity to fight for a better, more sustainable future for them. That is why I will support amendments 1 and 2, and I urge all Members in the House to join me.