Clause 17 - Strategy for England

Part of Waste and Emissions Trading Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 8th April 2003.

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Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Minister (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Environment) 5:00 pm, 8th April 2003

I am the first to say that it is a modest target. However, the occupational hazard of activists like the hon. Gentleman, and I respect his enthusiasm and commitment, is that they set very stretching but unrealistic targets. We do not achieve them, and everyone loses heart and thinks that nothing can be done. It is important to set more difficult but relatively modest targets, and then we can cut them further. It would be easy to say that we were aiming for minus 1 per cent. by 2006—that is the sort of easy target that some indulge in—but I would much prefer a more modest target. Even so, it will not be easy to achieve 2 per cent.