Clause 34

Part of Climate Change Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:00 pm on 3rd July 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Climate Change, Biodiversity and Waste) 1:00 pm, 3rd July 2008

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr. Atkinson.

I was endeavouring to answer—clearly not successfully —some questions asked by the hon. Member for Cheltenham. I shall now, once again, try to clarify just why some of the adaptation sub-committee’s functions in subsection (5) are to be deleted.

As I have said, our objection is to the policy role. That was agreed in the other place. We do believe that the Committee on Climate Change, through the sub-committee, should be given not the job of commenting on the adequacy of the Government’s adaptation programme, as under subsection (5)(a), but rather functions relating to the progress of implementation. We will come to that when we debate the next clause. We consider the adaptation programme to be a policy matter and, therefore, that is ruled out by what I said about policy matters earlier.

What we believe should happen is what we have already made provision for in clause 63, under which the Secretary of State must publish a strategy for the use of his powers to issue guidance and directions to reporting authorities. That is a policy issue as well. For that reason, we are removing subsection (5)(d). I hope that the hon. Member for Cheltenham will see that there is a coherent theme and that we are removing  consistently what we regard as policy matters. In the subsequent clause, there are other functions in which he is interested.