Climate Change Policy Debate

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Climate Change Policy

Ed Davey Excerpts
Tuesday 23rd April 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Claire Perry Parliament Live - Hansard
23 Apr 2019, 8:19 p.m.

I pay tribute to my hon. Friend’s work on this topic, of which she is something of an expert. She had a very successful soil summit just before the recess. We have realised that some of the most cost-effective ways of sequestering carbon, such as soil improvement, changes in land use management and forestation, are also those that are best for the natural environment. I think we have all collectively realised how we need to continue to invest in these important areas.

Ed Davey Portrait Sir Edward Davey (Kingston and Surbiton) (LD) - Parliament Live - Hansard
23 Apr 2019, 8:19 p.m.

In thanking the Minister for her kind words about the design of CFD auctions, which has ensured that Britain is a world leader in offshore wind, I have to say to her that I found her statement rather panglossian. Renewable energy investment has fallen off a cliff in the past two years. The major expansion in renewable investment was really about investment decisions made before 2015, which, I have to say, her former colleague, the then Chancellor George Osborne, tried to unpick directly after the 2015 election. May I refer her to the point made by the right hon. Member for Doncaster North (Edward Miliband) on the Paris climate change treaty? Does she not accept that it was Britain’s leadership in the European Union on climate change that led to very ambitious targets adopted by heads of state of the EU in October 2014, that led to the Americans and the Chinese being more ambitious on climate change, and thereto to the Paris climate change treaty? What is going to happen when Britain is not at the table at the European Union showing that leadership?

Claire Perry Parliament Live - Hansard
23 Apr 2019, 8:19 p.m.

I would slightly challenge the right hon. Gentleman on the point about investment. He will know that investment can be quite lumpy—it depends on when you are having an auction round—and we are buying far more with less, because the price of renewables has fallen so much. We are paying far less per unit of renewable energy. I was very struck, when we launched the offshore wind sector deal, with how turning out that market provides investment certainty. There is a real lesson to be learnt there for other technologies. I do not accept the point that without the UK at the table we will no longer be able to push the EU and other countries. We will continue to have a loud voice in this area and continue to lead from the front.