Climate Change Bill [Lords]

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Martin Horwood rose—
Mr. Woolas: Listen to the argument, please. In such circumstances, future Secretaries of State would be obliged by law to take actions and decisions to reach a temperature goal that they could not possibly reach. That would undermine the ability of the Government of the day to implement the requirement in clause 2 for a 60 per cent. reduction in emissions. Global temperatures are already at 0.7 C above pre-industrial revolution levels. If, in 10, 15 or 20 years, they are 2 C above, and the law requires the Secretary of State to act in a certain way that is thus not possible, what would the hon. Member for Cheltenham advise?
Martin Horwood: The Minister is making the argument of somebody sitting in a sinking boat who stops baling out because the other people baling out do not seem to have made as much effort as he expected. Clearly, the whole purpose of the Bill is to contribute to a global effort and that is explicitly what the subsequent measures—including the 60 per cent. target on carbon emissions—are designed to achieve. That was what the Minister said, based on the Royal Commission on Environmental Protection and, through that, on the IPCC.
Mr. Woolas: The hon. Gentleman misunderstands the purpose of the Bill. One of its purposes is to commit us to that contribution, but its other purpose is to make it law that the Government of the day have to act towards a target.
It being One o’clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
Adjourned till this day at Four o’clock.
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