Oral Answers to Questions

Lindsay Hoyle Excerpts
Tuesday 21st May 2024

(1 month, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Watch Debate Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Claire Coutinho Portrait Claire Coutinho
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I know from experience that my hon. Friend is a doughty champion for his local area and for the aviation sector. My Department is in regular contact with the Department for Transport and the Treasury on aviation decarbonisation and the important role for sustainable aviation fuel in that transition. On 25 April, DFT published a consultation on options for a revenue certainty mechanism alongside details of the SAF mandate, which together will support both decarbonation and the growth of the sector.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Chair of the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee.

Angus Brendan MacNeil Portrait Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (Ind)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Tapadh, Mr Speaker.

There are many criticisms of the Government—I am sure they are aware of them—that they are too slow and indecisive about giving signals to the market for particular technologies, which means that, when they need to commission new energy, they are stuck with only one option: gas, which, as we know, is not exactly the way to net zero. What will the Secretary of State be doing to move things a bit quicker and give the market signals as to which energy path the UK will be taking?

--- Later in debate ---
Claire Coutinho Portrait Claire Coutinho
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I would find the hon. Lady’s questions more credible if she would at least once welcome the fact that we are the first country in the G20 to have halved emissions. On our progress, I am proud that one of the reasons that we have come so far is technological fixes, because of the remarkable progress that this country has made in renewable energy. That is why we overshot on our first, second and third carbon budgets, and we are on track to overshoot on our fourth.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the shadow Secretary of State.

Edward Miliband Portrait Edward Miliband (Doncaster North) (Lab)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Two weeks ago the Government were found, for a second time, to be in breach of the law over their climate targets. That failure will mean that families across the country will pay higher energy bills. The Court found:

“The Secretary of State’s conclusion that the proposals and policies will enable the carbon budgets to be met was irrational”.

Last time, the Government claimed that their breach of the law was just on a technicality. What is the right hon. Lady’s “dog ate my homework” excuse this time?

--- Later in debate ---
Justin Tomlinson Portrait Justin Tomlinson
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

We have to work with businesses to secure investment. We have secured £300 billion for low-carbon technologies since 2010, as we boost UK energy production, our energy security and, ultimately, deliver cheaper bills for consumers.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the shadow Minister.

Kerry McCarthy Portrait Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) (Lab)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

When it comes to who controls and benefits from our energy system, why does the Government refuse to put the British people first? As we have heard, foreign-owned firms, whether France’s EDF or Denmark’s Ørsted, reap the rewards of energy produced in Britain. As they benefit British people pay the price, exposed to sky-high energy bills and beholden to volatile international prices. Why is the Minister so opposed to putting power back into the hands of the British people?

--- Later in debate ---
Amanda Solloway Portrait Amanda Solloway
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The hon. Lady and I have had many conversations about this issue. One of the things that we have done is make sure that people who are on pre-payment meters are not unfairly penalised.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the shadow Minister.

Alan Whitehead Portrait Dr Alan Whitehead (Southampton, Test) (Lab)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The Minister and her colleagues have repeatedly said today that they care about cutting bills for families, but a recent report by the Resolution Foundation found that the onshore wind ban has hit the poorest households’ income six times harder than that of the richest. Such households have been forced to pay additional electricity bills as a result of the total failure to build onshore wind in England. How on earth can Ministers continue to sit there and claim that they stand up for working families when they continue to block the cheapest form of clean energy there is, which could cut bills for families who desperately need help? Before she leaves office, will the Secretary of State pledge to put this right so that onshore wind can be built again and customers can save money on their future bills?

--- Later in debate ---
Amanda Solloway Portrait Amanda Solloway
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I respectfully say to the right hon. Gentleman that we do have schemes that are working. I remind him that the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has launched a £1 billion Great British installation scheme, which aims to upgrade around 300,000 of the country’s least energy-efficient homes.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the SNP spokesperson.

Dave Doogan Portrait Dave Doogan (Angus) (SNP)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The Scottish Government are working at pace to replace polluting heating systems and improve energy efficiency in Scotland’s building stock, with £1.8 billion being invested in this parliamentary Session towards heat and energy efficiency measures and £600 million towards new affordable housing. With the Climate Change Committee stating that the Scottish Government’s heat in buildings Bill could become the template for the UK, helping Scotland to decarbonise faster than anywhere else in the UK, would the Minister like to visit the Scottish Government in Edinburgh? I can arrange that for her, so that she can see climate leadership in action.

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the shadow Minister.

Sarah Jones Portrait Sarah Jones (Croydon Central) (Lab)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The National Infrastructure Commission said that the Government have reversed some progress on net zero. The right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May) said that the Government’s roll-back on net zero has put off investors. A member of the Climate Change Committee has said that we are “not ready at all” for the impact of extreme weather on our national security. Mad, bad and dangerous. Will the Secretary of State finally back Great British Energy and the national wealth fund instead of lurching from crisis to crisis, not having a plan and selling out Britain?

--- Later in debate ---
Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

I call the Chair of the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee.

Angus Brendan MacNeil Portrait Angus Brendan MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (Ind)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Tapadh leat, Mr Speaker. Zonal pricing has the potential to lower bills for households from Sussex to Shetland, from Stonehaven to the great town of Stornoway. Of course some vested interests will be concerned, such as energy generating companies that are benefiting from the constraint payments raised from customer bills. What are the Government doing to stimulate debate and knowledge about zonal pricing?

--- Later in debate ---
Andrew Bowie Portrait Andrew Bowie
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I would be delighted to meet my hon. Friend at any time, and I am happy to discuss this and any other matter relating to the subject.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - -

With the final question, I call Sir John Hayes.

John Hayes Portrait Sir John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings) (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Now that the Government have recognised the importance of versatile and productive agricultural land in respect of solar, will they recognise too the threat of a monstrous string of pylons stretching right down the east coast of England? We either care about our green and pleasant land or we do not—for, as Keats understood, truth is beauty and beauty, truth.