UK Net Zero Emissions Target - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:08 pm on 12th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Cunningham of Felling Lord Cunningham of Felling Chair, SLSC Sub-Committee B, Chair, SLSC Sub-Committee B 4:08 pm, 12th June 2019

My Lords, I welcome the Minister’s Statement, and the Government’s decision to set a target. Both are welcome, but the Minister and the Statement are implying profound changes in the lives of everyone in this country, including in housing, transport and workplace experience. The Statement needs to be underpinned by a sector-by-sector approach to how this will be achieved and delivered.

One thing that cannot happen—the Minister and I had an exchange about this earlier this week—is achieving this without a contribution from civil nuclear power. The world, never mind the UK, is not going to get by without civil nuclear power. We have abandoned our own ability to build a nuclear power station. I do not blame the present Government for this; other Governments are culpable, including the one I was a Minister in. The Government should set up a task force to see how we can recreate that ability on our own account, because depending on the Japanese, the Chinese or the French is a high-risk business. I hope the Government will give that serious consideration.