“The Chancellor of the Exchequer must conduct an assessment of the impact of this Act on the UK meeting its Paris climate change commitments, and lay it before the House of Commons within six months of the day on which this Act receives Royal Assent.”—
This new clause would require the Chancellor of the Exchequer to review the impact of the Bill on the UK meeting its Paris climate change commitments.
“The Chancellor of the Exchequer must conduct an assessment of the impact of this Act on the UK meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and lay it before the House of Commons within six months of the day on which this Act receives Royal Assent.”
This new clause would require the Chancellor of the Exchequer to review the impact of the Bill on the UK meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
I will be brief. It is important that the Government take their obligations under the Paris climate change commitments and the UN sustainable development goals seriously. I did not know when we tabled these new clauses that my son would be studying the sustainable development goals at his school this week. It would be very good if the Government took the sustainable development goals quite as seriously as the primary 6 pupils I know.
It is clear that this new clause is similar to other amendments. We have discussed the issues in relation to Basel and PRIIPs measures, and new clauses 33 and 34 would mean that they would apply to a Bill as a whole. As I have set out in previous responses, we are committed to meeting international obligations and strongly support the aims of the Paris agreement and the sustainable development goals. That will mean a combined effort across the whole economy, especially with the involvement of financial services. As the Chancellor set out in his statement, they will be at the heart of that effort. We are pursuing world-leading standards, and ahead of COP26 the Prime Minister’s COP26 finance adviser, Mark Carney, will advise the Government on embedding climate considerations into every financial decision.
These new clauses would require the provision of an assessment of the impact of the Bill, specifically on the UK’s ability to meet its commitments to the Paris agreement and sustainable development goals. We published in June 2019 a voluntary national review, setting out in detail our progress towards those goals, and a comprehensive account of the further action to be taken, and we remain committed to supporting the implementation of those goals. We therefore cannot support these new clauses, as we believe that we are held to account through other mechanisms. That is probably all I need to say. I suggest that the clause may be able to be withdrawn on that basis.