Climate Change DebateFull Debate: Read Full Debate
Richard BenyonMain Page: Richard Benyon (Conservative) - Newbury)
(1 year, 3 months ago)Commons Chamber
Ah! I am sorry. I did not see the right hon. Member for Newbury (Richard Benyon).
I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his intervention, and I apologise for not hearing him earlier. I was too busy expounding my case. I am glad to take his intervention, but I do not agree with him. Of course, yes, we can say that onshore wind generation has increased from 7 TWh to 30 TWh, or whatever the figures were, but it would have increased an awful lot more if this Government had not effectively blocked its expansion. That is what they have done in recent years. Local communities are being told that they have absolutely every right to block onshore wind, yet they are not being given the right to block fracking. That just seems to be absolutely incoherent, so I rest my case that an awful lot more could have been done on onshore wind, not least because it is now one of the cheapest forms of energy generation, if not the cheapest. We do not have the counterfactual about how much could have been done if we had had an enabling Government for the last few years rather than one who have blocked onshore wind. Immediately post-2010, good work was done, but in the last few years they have been blocking it. The right hon. Gentleman can roll his eyes as often as he likes, but that is the case.
I conclude by saying that this is not the time to be patting ourselves on the back; it is the time for rolling up our sleeves, picking up the fire extinguishers, putting out the fire and treating this as the emergency it undoubtedly is.