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Peter Ainsworth: What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission; and if he will make a statement.
Peter Ainsworth: Will the Minister state categorically that the UK Government's intention in the talks is not to legitimise existing activities in the southern ocean protection area, but to end whaling altogether, whatever the ambitions of the Japanese Government?
Peter Ainsworth: I should like to present a petition on behalf of some 90 my constituents. Following is the full text of the petition: [The Petition of persons resident in the East Surrey parliamentary constituency, Declares that they are concerned about the recommendations of the Badman Report, which suggests closer monitoring of home educators, including a compulsory annual registration scheme and right...
Peter Ainsworth: I assure my hon. Friend that this litany of woe is all too familiar to me. Will he comment on the lamentable record on energy efficiency? The energy that we do not use is the greenest, cheapest and most secure of all.
Peter Ainsworth: The hon. Gentleman will find that the Conservative party is hardly on the fringe and that the low-carbon economy paper that we published earlier this year is an excellent blueprint, which I commend to him, if we want to move quickly to such an economy.
Peter Ainsworth: I know that my right hon. Friend is not always a huge enthusiast for the workings of the Church of England, but will he take this opportunity to congratulate the Archbishop of Canterbury on his leadership in bringing together representatives of all the main faiths in the United Kingdom to produce a document that calls for tackling climate change as a moral imperative?
Peter Ainsworth: It is a pleasure to follow the right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras (Frank Dobson), who is absolutely right to draw attention to the way in which climate change threatens soonest and most severely some of the poorest people in the world. This has so far been an extremely interesting debate. Incidentally, I am very happy to tell the House that earlier today, the Green Energy...
Peter Ainsworth: The hon. Gentleman makes a very good point. Of course, people in his part of the world suffer from invasive species every summer on a grand scale-they are usually towing caravans! He is absolutely right, and Plantlife has done important work in drawing attention to the problem of invasive species.
Peter Ainsworth: I entirely agree with my right hon. Friend. The fundamental point is that we need to learn again to live within the limits that nature has given us. If we continue to pretend that nature is limitless, which it clearly is not, particularly bearing in mind global population growth, which has been mentioned, we will continue to put our future and the future of everything else that lives on this...
Peter Ainsworth: My hon. Friend might want to point out to the hon. Member for Regent's Park and Kensington, North (Ms Buck), who raised that rather silly and trite point, the difficulties that our colleagues in the European Parliament had in dealing with our former allies in the CDU who were intent on and assiduous in looking after their vested industrial interests in Germany.
Peter Ainsworth: The Secretary of State is making an exemplary speech, but is it not the case that more than 18 per cent. of children believe that their future may be affected, and are not children one of our best weapons to persuade grown-ups to get off their backsides and do something about it?
Peter Ainsworth: Was not one of the most telling remarks made by the Minister in her contribution, when criticising the motion, that signing up to the 10:10 deal would cost a huge amount of money? She implied criticism of our Front-Bench team for not having costed that. This is not about cost. Does my hon. Friend agree that we are talking about saving energy, saving CO2 and saving money, not spending it?
Peter Ainsworth: The Minister has failed to answer the question put by my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr. Stuart). While dealing with the issue of energy efficiency, will she tell us what is the energy efficiency rating of her Department's headquarters?
Peter Ainsworth: May I thank the Minister for his exhaustive speech? By the time he reached his "live diagnostic tool", I think that even he was losing the will to live. However, the other place will notice the thoroughness of his remarks, which will no doubt be helpful when it considers this legislation. I thank all right hon. and hon. Members who have contributed to what was, until the last hour and a bit,...
Peter Ainsworth: I am blushing horribly at the Minister's kind remarks, for which I am very grateful. He will be aware that the process is not over yet; the Bill now has to go to another place. He will also be aware that there appear to be some timing problems in the other place, regarding when it can consider the Bill. I hope that he and his colleagues will do all that they can to get it listed for debate in...
Peter Ainsworth: It has been glorious weather for Wimbledon, although probably rather too hot. I am told that the temperature in central London yesterday hit 32º C. Meanwhile, in other parts of the country there has been torrential rain and flooding. Is that not entirely consistent with what the scientists have been telling us for a long time about the likely effects of climate change?
Peter Ainsworth: The Minister makes an extremely important point. Whatever anyone's views about climate change, does he not agree that we should have been promoting resource efficiency and energy efficiency anyway, and that in the developed west we have scandalously neglected those things for far too long? Dealing with those issues presents an enormous opportunity for good in the future.
Peter Ainsworth: I have said on every occasion when it has been possible to do so that I am certainly not in favour of a free-for-all in micro power that causes a nuisance. That is not the purpose of the Bill, and there are safeguards built into it. The Minister may wish to confirm that when consulting on any proposals to do with microgeneration in domestic properties, a noise limit of 45 dB from the nearest...
Peter Ainsworth: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way and I apologise to you, Mr. Speaker, for failing to welcome you to the Chair in my previous remarks, as that was the first time that I have contributed since your elevation. I also apologise for not mentioning the very co-operative assistance that I have received from Liberal Democrat Members on the Bill.
Peter Ainsworth: As the hon. Gentleman knows, there is no such thing as small-scale nuclear energy generation.