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Green Economy - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:54 pm on 12th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 5:54 pm, 12th March 2020

It is fine: it is my fault for raising it. I should not have got involved in the debate, but I am happy to talk to the noble Baroness, for whom I have the greatest admiration, as she knows. I am sure that we will discuss it on plenty of other occasions.

The noble Lord, Lord Giddens, talked about the 2050 target and asked why Finland has a net-zero target of 2035 when ours is 2050. Our independent advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, made it clear in its report that it does not currently consider that it is credible for the UK to reach net-zero emissions earlier than 2050, and we have legislated in line with that advice.

The noble Baroness, Lady Suttie, asked about plastic waste exports. We are committed to banning plastic waste exports to non-OECD countries and the Environment Bill includes a power to enable us to deliver this commitment. We will consult this year on the date by which this will achieved.

The noble Baroness, Lady Jones, raised the energy company obligation—we have discussed this subject with her before. I know that we have a different opinion on it, but we believe that energy efficiency will be key to reach net zero and we agree that the transition has to be fair. The energy company obligation is a key policy that, since 2013, has delivered more than 2.5 million measures in more than 2 million homes. This scheme is now entirely focused on low-income, vulnerable and fuel-poor households and funded to the tune of something like £640 million a year until 2022. I know that we have a different view about how it should be funded, but it is, in my view, a successful scheme.

The noble Lord, Lord Marland, talked about international climate finance. Since 2011, our international climate finance has helped 57 million people to cope with the effects of climate change, while reducing or avoiding 16 million tonnes of emissions.

I am sorry that I am out of time; I had a number of other points to refer to. If noble Lords will permit me, I will respond to them in writing—apart from an intervention from the noble Lord, Lord Browne.