Environmental Programme: COP 26 - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:02 pm on 9th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State 3:02 pm, 9th March 2020

The noble Viscount raises an important point: there is such a thing as good environmental policy and such a thing as bad environmental policy. Unfortunately, the last few decades are littered with examples of the latter. We disagree in relation to the value and contribution that can be made by onshore wind. It is telling that this year we expect a new wind farm to come online that will be the first to require no public subsidies of any sort at all, which is testament to that technology. It has proven itself, just as we have seen with solar power. However, I absolutely take his point about the burning of wood on a very large scale to produce electricity. This has all kinds of consequences—I would say unforeseen, but they were not entirely unforeseen.