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New Clause 1

Part of Energy Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 21st January 2010.

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Photo of Phil Willis Phil Willis Chair, Commons Science and Technology Committee 10:00 am, 21st January 2010

I simply make the point that there is no doubt. We are trying, in new clause 1, to get the Government to admit that it is unacceptable for the Bill to leave Committee without an ETS proposal having been included. Unless there is a clear timetable for Governments to achieve those objectives, the industry will not have security, and nor will we.

The hon. Member for Wealden made a vital point. What would happen if a company built a plant without having a clear direction on emission standards? The idea that, in two, three, five or 10 years, the Government would say to it: “Unless you meet the standards, we will close down the plant” is nonsense, for the very reasons that he gave about the lights going out. Unless the standards are locked in at the beginning of the system, and companies are given clear direction, we will not achieve our objectives, and that is why new clause 1 must have clear standards for the future.