Amendment 106

Part of Environment Bill - Report (4th Day) – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 15 September 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green 5:45, 15 September 2021

My Lords, it is a great pleasure to follow the three noble Lords who have already spoken on this group. They have given us a comprehensive explanation of why we need all these amendments. I shall speak chiefly to Amendment 121 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Randall, also signed by the noble Baroness, Lady Boycott, and the noble Lord, Lord Teverson, on the global footprint timetable. It has already been clearly set out why this amendment needs to pass: we need drastic action now.

A large number of amendments in Committee addressed the broader issues here. There was the call to look at not just resource efficiency but cutting total resource use in Part 1. There was the call to move towards the Treasury managing our economy for the purposes of people and planet, not chasing after growth that we cannot have more of on a finite planet. Your Lordships have heard the Government’s cries about their desire to progress the Bill quickly, so many of these amendments have not been put. They have been boiled down to some very clear, simple essentials that need to happen. I offer support for all these amendments.

The questions that the noble Lord, Lord Randall, asked were very clear and important, but I will address a direct question to the Minister on Schedule 17. It is crucial that Schedule 17 covers the main commodities driving global deforestation, so can he confirm that it will cover beef and leather, cocoa, palm oil, pulp and paper, rubber and soy? They are not currently defined in the schedule, and there is concern that any limits to the approach would utterly undermine the intentions expressed in this provision and by the Government.

I also want briefly to address Amendment 107 on the rights of indigenous people. We know that many of the parts of the world that still remain relatively pristine rely heavily on indigenous people to protect them, and how often their rights to do so and to live their lives are threatened by mining companies associated with us—often large multinationals with close ties to the UK. When one considers that and our historic legacy, as well as the impact of colonialism on those communities, we have a particular responsibility to ensure, practically and morally, that they are being listened to.