Richard Benyon debates with Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

There have been 3 exchanges between Richard Benyon and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Tue 8th October 2019 Government Plan for Net Zero Emissions (Westminster Hall) 3 interactions (55 words)
Mon 24th June 2019 Climate Change 3 interactions (90 words)
Wed 12th June 2019 Net Zero Emissions Target 3 interactions (112 words)

Government Plan for Net Zero Emissions

Richard Benyon Excerpts
Tuesday 8th October 2019

(10 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Sarah Newton Hansard
8 Oct 2019, 9 a.m.

We will bear that in mind, Mr Gray. My right hon. Friend makes a good point: COP 26 is a great opportunity, as he so well articulated. Some sort of roadshow would be a good idea, as it would harness the great work going on and give the Government an opportunity to communicate to communities the sort of innovation funding and support plans available, so people can engage.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Ind) Hansard
8 Oct 2019, 9 a.m.

I will be very quick. There is an opportunity for Members of this House to take a lead in our constituencies. Does my hon. Friend agree that a good way would be to have local assemblies, where we inform people of what is going on, they can inform us and we can feed that through?

Sarah Newton Hansard

My right hon. Friend makes an incredibly important point. We are leaders in our communities and we have agency, as he describes, to make a positive difference.

This country also has world-leading universities and tech companies. I would like the Government to set up an ecotech innovation fund, so we can harness expertise to create user-friendly, accessible apps and websites that seamlessly compile impartial and accurate data and explain what people can do and how they can access support.

Climate Change

Richard Benyon Excerpts
Monday 24th June 2019

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Caroline Lucas Portrait Caroline Lucas - Hansard
24 Jun 2019, 7:06 p.m.

Ah! I am sorry. I did not see the right hon. Member for Newbury (Richard Benyon).

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Hansard

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for giving way. I have been present during this debate, but I had to go to another meeting. I hear what she is saying about onshore wind, but does she agree that 7 TWh of onshore wind power were generated in 2010 and that the figure is now 30.4 TWh? It has increased and it can increase more, but she has used this rhetoric time and again to say that it has not increased. It really has, and much more can be achieved.

Caroline Lucas Portrait Caroline Lucas - Hansard
24 Jun 2019, 7:07 p.m.

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.

Net Zero Emissions Target

Richard Benyon Excerpts
Wednesday 12th June 2019

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Jun 2019, 1:23 p.m.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. He seemed to be welcoming the Committee’s report but criticising the Government for not agreeing with its recommendation to set a date of 2045 for Scotland and 2050 for the United Kingdom. That was its clear advice and we are following it. There were particular reasons, such as the greater potential for afforestation in Scotland, why it regarded a 2045 target as appropriate. I hope the hon. Gentleman will not take it amiss when I agree with the first part of what he said—that we should follow the Committee’s advice—rather than the second part, which is that we should then disagree with it.

On the points about carbon capture and storage, part of the opportunity and requirement for net zero is that it is possible to take carbon out of the atmosphere, especially from industrial processes, and of course Scotland and its industrial clusters will have an important part to play in that.

The hon. Gentleman mentions the National Infrastructure Commission, and again I welcome his respect for its expert analysis. We support what it says about increasing renewables. I hope that in the same spirit he will support its recommendation that we should have more new nuclear power—something he opposed. I do not want to be excessively partisan on an issue that I know from my discussions with the Scottish Government is a common commitment that we make to maintain and increase our ambition and at the same time create jobs in every part of the UK including Scotland.

Richard Benyon (Newbury) (Con) Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Jun 2019, 1:24 p.m.

Yesterday I was in Washington, where I was reminded that this is a fiercely partisan issue there that divides politics, perhaps more than any other. It is something to rejoice in that here there is a very bipartisan view on it. I am very proud that this Government have taken this decision today. They have listened to the scientific evidence and are acting on it, but does my right hon. Friend agree that this is the easy part? We have to carry our population with us as we decarbonise our economy further, change the way we travel, farm and move around, and be a beacon for other countries to do the same.

Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark - Parliament Live - Hansard
12 Jun 2019, 1:25 p.m.

I completely agree with my right hon. Friend and pay tribute to him for his leadership both as a Member of this House and a Minister in DEFRA in pursuing this at a national and international level. He is absolutely right that we need to change the way we do things, but the prospects of leaning into technology mean that we can do that in a way that does not make our lives more miserable or more constrained. No one could look back on the last 20 or 30 years and think that, having achieved what we have in terms of emissions reductions, we have done so at the expense of our quality of life. That is the guiding philosophy we should take: we should harness technology to make sure our lives can be better and greener and cleaner in the future.