Clause 7

Climate Change Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 26th June 2008.

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Amendment of target percentages

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Phil Woolas Phil Woolas Minister of State (Environment), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The clause mirrors the requirements of clause 3, about which I spoke earlier, in setting out the circumstances in which 2020 targets and any post-2050 target may be amended. As before, the application of the clause is limited to specific circumstances to ensure that the legislation provides as much certainty as possible while retaining the flexibility to respond to the latest developments, such as changes in scientific knowledge and the international context, which affect the basis of our reduction target. With that in mind, we consider that allowing changes to the 2020 target or the future post-2050 target to be made through secondary legislation provides that for that process.

The potential inclusion of other greenhouse gases or emissions from international aviation or international shipping also needs to be taken into account, as either of those could significantly affect the achievability of the targets. It is therefore right that, in those circumstances, we should have that flexibility.

Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

I have a comment to make to the Minister. I notice that the Government intend to introduce such changes through debate under the affirmative resolution procedure in both Houses. There is a little concern that throughout the Bill—clause 7 reflects this—there is a general enabling power. Of course, the devil will be in the detail.

I alert the Minister to the fact that there is a general concern out there; perhaps more detail could have been included. We do not wish to detract from the flexibility of any future Government considering this, but we put down a marker that perhaps there is too much dependence on Orders in Council, albeit preceded by debate under the affirmative resolution procedure. Perhaps more could have been included in the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 7 ordered to stand part of the Bill.