Energy: Fourth Carbon Report — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 17th May 2011.

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Photo of Lord Marland Lord Marland The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 5:15 pm, 17th May 2011

There is no one more experienced on this issue than the noble Lord, Lord Prescott. He adds great value on the subject in this House. Describing the past is extremely interesting because I was at neither Copenhagen nor Cancun. The reality is, as he knows, that we have to set an example-as he did himself-and an aspirational target. We have been accused of not leading the way in Europe; now we will lead the way. We cannot have it both ways. We will put our aspirations down on the table as we did in Cancun. I pay great tribute to the Secretary of State, the right honourable Chris Huhne, for the way in which he brought the climate change issues back on to the agenda at Cancun, which, as the noble Lord rightly said, fell apart. Clearly, our fallback position is 20 per cent. We are comfortably going towards that 20 per cent. We feel that we can up the ante and show Europe how to do so, and 2014 gives us the fallback if we cannot achieve it. Those are our aspirations. I think that he would, broadly speaking, applaud them given the position that he tried to lead us to.