UK Decarbonisation and Carbon Capture and Storage — [Mr Clive Betts in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 3:30 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality) 3:30 pm, 24th January 2017

My hon. Friend may regret it, but it will not diminish our friendship in any way whatever. It is good to have a broad church of opinion within our party.

I will pose some questions because it is important to do so. Environmental issues are of great importance, so it is essential that our strategy is effective. I say to the Minister that I am not sure that we have managed to achieve all we could or should thus far. That is the question many have posed, including the hon. Member for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill during his introduction.

It is opportune that we are having the debate on the back of the industrial strategy Green Paper announced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy yesterday. Many believe that the Department has not achieved value for money for its £100 million spend on the second competition for Government financial support for carbon capture and storage. Other hon. Members have said that there must be an investment to get a return, and that the return will justify the investment.

It is my understanding that CCS is a process to avoid the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and that it has the potential to help to meet the UK’s target for a reduction of CO2 emissions in both the power and industrial sectors, which is commendable. We have pledged to cut 1991-level emissions by 57% by 2030. While that is a great goal, how will we achieve it? Hon. Members have outlined potential job creation and the opportunities that will come if it is done in the right way. To achieve the goal is most certainly a challenge, given the untried nature of the technology.