Energy: Fourth Carbon Report — Statement

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Maples Lord Maples Conservative 5:15 pm, 17th May 2011

My Lords, I am one of the growing group of people inside and outside Parliament who think that this whole policy is completely misconceived. Even if you believe and accept the link that the Climate Change Act makes between carbon emissions and world temperatures, surely the way that this policy is operating at present is curious economic masochism. At a time of falling real incomes for families and a desperate need for economic growth, it is imposing additional costs in terms of fuel bills.

The Minister said that the Government are looking at the problems of energy-intensive industries to make sure that they remain competitive. I do not know whether there will be any left here in 2025. The Minister may be aware that a large German cement manufacturer recently moved its plant to Asia and financed the whole of the new factory by selling its carbon credits in Germany. That is the perversity of the way this policy operates. How can we make energy-intensive industries remain competitive while at the same time achieving these targets to which their contribution is so important?