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Mr. David Drew (Stroud) (Lab/Co-op): Does my right hon. Friend accept that we need real leadership at local authority level? As much as Government may exhort and have the right policy framework, we need
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leadership in and from local authorities. We have some excellent ones-we all know about the Kirklees model-but we also have local authorities that lag behind, so we need a bit of a push to get them moving in the right direction.

Edward Miliband: I agree. The new carbon budgets regime that we set out yesterday could, in time, be extended to local authorities, which could take on their own carbon budgets. We will drive the system through in that way.

Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent, North) (Lab): Does my right hon. Friend agree that one of the key indicators is the extent to which capital funding from the Learning and Skills Council can ensure that we move towards green training and skills and the skill sets that will be needed throughout the economy? Will he ensure that those considerations are taken on board and that colleges like mine in Stoke-on-Trent benefit from that?

Edward Miliband: My hon. Friend makes an important point about skills in the UK and elsewhere in the run-up to Copenhagen. She is certainly right that learning and skills councils have an important role to play, and I know that she campaigns hard on those issues.

Mr. Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op): My right hon. Friend and I have been involved in environmental issues and campaigns against climate change for a long time, but time and again our efforts have been dogged by the lack of planning permission for ambitious and innovative schemes. Are we going to crack planning permission and are we going to do it fast?

Edward Miliband: Yes, and it is important that we are reforming the Infrastructure Planning Commission, which not only is important domestically, but will be seen as important by our international allies in the run-up to Copenhagen. I regret that the Opposition want to abolish the Infrastructure Planning Commission, but I hope that the good offices of the hon. Member for Tunbridge Wells (Greg Clark) will persuade his colleagues in charge of local government issues to think again.

Mr. Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley) (Con) rose-

Edward Miliband: I will give way to the hon. Gentleman, but then I want to make some progress-I feel like I am at the starting line of my speech.

Mr. Evans: I know that the Secretary of State wishes to promote renewables and as for wind-powered energy, I have no problems whatever with developments out at sea. However, I was concerned to read that the only major manufacturer of wind turbines in the Isle of Wight has closed. As for renewables, could he give a commitment to ensure that we will support research and development and the manufacturing of solar panels, batteries and wind turbines in the United Kingdom?

Edward Miliband: Absolutely. That is why we made available £120 million yesterday to support, for example, the offshore wind manufacturing industry.

Let me come to the five challenges that we will face between now and Copenhagen. The more consensus that we can achieve in the House on these questions,
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and particularly on the international side, the better, so I look forward to hearing other hon. Members' speeches in this debate. First, we need to show that the mitigation actions by developed and developing countries are consistent with the 2° benchmark. When it comes to the targets and the commitments made by developed and developing countries, the question is: are they consistent with the actions that the scientists tell us are necessary to meet the 2° target and to contain temperature rises on the planet to below 2°? In Britain we have set an emissions target for 2020 of 34 per cent. below 1990 levels. However, we stand ready to tighten and improve that target as part of a global deal at Copenhagen.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-the scientific body in charge of those issues-said in its 2007 report that, for developed countries as a whole, we needed to aim for 25 to 40 per cent. reductions on 1990 levels by 2020. There is no doubt that that is a challenging objective, given the situation in America and elsewhere, but the 25 to 40 per cent. target is still an important benchmark. There may be other scientific pathways to get to the 2° target, but that benchmark is-at the moment, anyway-the dominant way in which we are thinking about such issues, and it indicates that all countries, but particularly developed countries, need to show maximum ambition.

Simon Hughes (North Southwark and Bermondsey) (LD): Because the Secretary of State hopes for a more ambitious outcome in Copenhagen, and because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has suggested that the target that we need to meet may be even bigger, can he assure us that he and his colleagues have done the necessary contingency planning for the further reductions that we will need to make, sector by sector, so that, without internal barriers, we can go for, say, a 42 per cent. UK reduction at Copenhagen in December?

Edward Miliband: Yes, we think that getting to that higher number is feasible. Because of the plans that we announced yesterday and the fact that we are overachieving on the 34 per cent. target by a couple of percentage points, to 36 per cent., we are in line to be able to move to a tightened target.

Developing countries also have to play a role in reducing emissions and meeting our long-term targets. About 75 per cent. of the increases in emissions over the next 20 years or so will come in developing countries, so even if richer countries cleaned up their act straight away, we would still need the involvement of developing countries if we are to meet our objectives.

Barry Gardiner (Brent, North) (Lab): My right hon. Friend will know of the concern in developing countries that the resources required to meet those mitigation targets should not come from official development assistance or Department for International Development budgets. I am pleased that the Government have given a commitment that we would do only 10 per cent. of double counting, as it were, where there are actions that can both reduce poverty and mitigate climate change, but is he confident that the Opposition share that view?

Edward Miliband: Obviously it is for the Opposition to speak for themselves, but my hon. Friend makes an important point, which I will come to in a moment. We
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need to ensure that the resources that we put into climate change finance are not simply taken from existing finance for poverty reduction, although I will come to that in a moment.

Developing countries have an important role to play. Studies have suggested that by 2020 they need to show a deviation from what we would otherwise expect them to do-that is, from what one might call "business as usual" and continuing to emit at current rates-of 15 to 30 per cent. That is an important part of the challenge that we face between now and Copenhagen.

The second challenge-this touches on the point that my hon. Friend made-is on the finance and the financial architecture of a global deal. There is no question but that that is one of the most difficult issues that we face in Copenhagen. Developed countries are hard pressed financially and resources will obviously be hard to come by. At the same time, however, on the basis of historical responsibility for emissions, there is no question but that developed countries bear responsibility for the emissions in the atmosphere-cumulatively, between 1850 and 2000, about 30 per cent. of global emissions came from the United States, about 30 per cent. came from the EU and 6 per cent. came from China. Per capita emissions in developed countries are still significantly higher than in developing countries, and obviously the development needs of developing countries are significantly higher as well.

That is why the Prime Minister made the speech that he did a couple of weeks ago, when he suggested-he was the first world leader to suggest this-that we should have a working figure for how much money we are seeking to raise, namely $100 billion by 2020. He also said that it should come from private and public financial sources-from the global carbon market and public sources-and that we needed new sources of finance, in addition to official development assistance. We are attracted by various proposals, including from Norway and Mexico, and importantly-this comes back to the point that my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, North (Barry Gardiner) made-we should limit the ODA used to 10 per cent., so that we do not simply divert it away from poverty relief.

That is a very important point in commanding the confidence of developing countries in the negotiations. I urge those in all parts of the House, including the official Opposition, to think hard about that. They published a document earlier this week looking at overseas development, but it was not explicit on that point, so I hope that when the hon. Member for Tunbridge Wells (Greg Clark) responds he can say something about their attitude, because it would send a bad signal if it looked like we were simply going to transfer money wholesale from ODA to climate finance.

John Mason (Glasgow, East) (SNP): Would the Secretary of State accept that patents are also part of the equation? If we could transfer new technology fairly cheaply, as well as transferring money, that would also help developing countries.

Edward Miliband: The hon. Gentleman helps me to segue into my third point, which is about technology. For countries such as China, the key in the negotiations
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is not finance, but the big technological questions. From my experience of the discussions on this issue, it may not be the most difficult one that we face in the negotiations, but it is the most complex. We need to respect intellectual property rights, because they are an important part of the technology being developed, but, having been in China, I can tell the hon. Gentleman that it is sometimes hard to pin down exactly what is required.

To take carbon capture and storage as an example, the way I look at it is like this. Rich countries have a responsibility to demonstrate new technologies such as carbon capture and storage, which is crucial to the problem of coal production. People understandably campaign about new power stations in the UK, but in one part of China that I visited-Guangdong province-the plan over the next 10 years is to build 40 GW of coal power, or approximately 25 new power stations. The good news is that China is interested in carbon capture and storage and in the role that it can play in that country. Our responsibility is to help to demonstrate the new CCS technology and share our know-how on it as best we can. In the coming months, as part of the Major Economies Forum, we will be working out how best we can drive that new technology through, as well as transferring established technology.

Mr. Jamie Reed (Copeland) (Lab): Does my right hon. Friend agree that Copenhagen will provide an opportunity for us to jettison business as usual, and that what we need is a new environmentalism, not only in the run-up to Copenhagen but at Copenhagen, in which non-governmental organisations, businesses and Governments are all on the same page and pursuing the same aims?

Edward Miliband: My hon. Friend has made a crucial point. I have been very conscious of this in the discussions that I have had about Copenhagen. We need the broadest possible coalition in every country of the world on these issues, involving not only civil society and Governments but businesses, faith groups and the whole broad spectrum of people. Copenhagen will be hard enough, but the big challenge will be to sustain consensus on these issues across time, across developed and developing countries, across different Administrations in those countries and across different political systems. That is the scale of the challenge that we face in relation to climate change.

The fourth area that I want briefly to touch on is the need for a comprehensive agreement on forestry. Deforestation is responsible for 18 per cent. of global emissions, or about one fifth of the overall problem that we face. I think I am right in saying that, in Peru, an area of forest the size of 64 football fields is being cut down every 90 minutes as part of the process of deforestation. Any global agreement must therefore include forestry, and the UK has put forward some concrete ideas to make that happen. A key part of this is to find a way of incentivising people who live in the forests to manage them sustainably; that has to be the answer. There are good examples of sustainable forest management, but there are also difficult questions around the governance of these issues.

Nia Griffith (Llanelli) (Lab): In the light of what my right hon. Friend has just said, it is possible that a forest the size of 64 football fields could disappear in the time
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it takes us to have this debate. Will he therefore look again at Government policy on biomass, and, in particular, on how we can control imports?

Edward Miliband: My hon. Friend is right to suggest that we need to be cautious on biomass-and, indeed, on biofuels generally. We need to ensure that they do not contribute to some of the problems that have been identified.

Mr. Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con): I have a problem on the question of biofuels. I thought that I was saving the planet by buying a biofuel car-Wellingborough has one of the few biofuel pumps in the country. Are we saving the planet by buying such cars, or are we destroying it?

Edward Miliband: To give a rather unsatisfactory answer, it depends on the type of biofuels that are being used. I understand that first-generation biofuels are more damaging that second-generation biofuels.

Several hon. Members rose -

Edward Miliband: I am conscious of that fact that I am no longer getting any extra time when I take interventions. In the light of that, I must plough on and come to a conclusion, in order to allow more of my colleagues on both sides of the House to speak.

The fifth area that I want to mention is the system of governance that we will need in relation to Copenhagen. It is important that that system of governance commands respect from developing and developed countries. That means developing countries having a fair voice in the system of financial decision making, and we have put forward an idea for a compact involving a system in which developing countries wishing to have finance will submit low-carbon development plans to a body that gives an equal voice to developed and developing countries. In that way, we will give a fair voice to the developing countries in the discussions.

One important point for our public, and for the public around the world, is that we must have a robust system of monitoring, reporting and verification of all countries' actions and commitments.

Paul Flynn (Newport, West) (Lab): Will my right hon. Friend give way?

Edward Miliband: I will not give way, because I must wind up. I apologise to my hon. Friend.

We need a robust system of MRV-monitoring, reporting and verification-and good ideas have been put forward on how we can manage that process and ensure that developing and developed countries are clear about the actions that they are going to take.

Let me summarise the challenge that we face and end on a note of optimism. We want an ambitious agreement, with clear mid-term and long-term targets to keep us on-at the very worst-a 2° pathway. We want the agreement to be fair, because the poorest countries need to move from high-carbon to low-carbon growth, and we need to accept our responsibilities as developed countries. The agreement also needs to be comprehensive, covering not only the actions that each country needs to take but the actions required by international sectors such as aviation and shipping.

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I want to end on this note of optimism. When I came into this job, many people talked to me about the chances of success at Copenhagen, and said that President Obama would not be interested in dealing with these issues because he would have too many other things on his plate. They said that he would get to them in his second year. What has actually happened is that, with new US leadership, with Chinese engagement and with wider developing country engagement on the issues, the chances of success at Copenhagen have significantly increased. We face a long, hard road ahead in the next few months, and the UK Government stand committed to straining every sinew to get the kind of ambitious agreement that we need to protect the planet for future generations.

12.46 pm

Greg Clark (Tunbridge Wells) (Con): It is a pleasure to meet the Secretary of State across the Dispatch Box for the second time in two days, again on a subject on which there is a broad degree of consensus between the two Front Benches about what is needed in our national interest and the interests of the world. I do not want to rehearse all the points that the Secretary of State has laid out, as they are indeed points of common ground. Instead, I want to use the opportunity of this brief debate to make a couple of observations of my own on some of the unfinished business relating to Copenhagen.

I think that we can agree that it is in our national interest to move to a genuinely low-carbon economy, for reasons of energy security and economic competitiveness, and for the sake of our environment. Yesterday, we discussed that issue in so far as it applies domestically, but exactly the same arguments apply across the world. There is no distinction there. It is in the global interest that we have an agreement at Copenhagen that is significant not because it is an agreement, but because it constitutes a set of commitments that mean something tangible. Yesterday, we discussed whether we could achieve that aim domestically. We need to adopt exactly the same sense of purpose and realism internationally, because the poorest people of the world, who have contributed least to the problem, will be hit first and suffer most from the consequences of climate change.

"The Road to Copenhagen", the document that the Government published recently, sets out three principles in moving towards securing a global deal, and we have no problem endorsing them. They are ambition, effectiveness and fairness. These are sound principles. We need ambition, in that the commitments made on reducing emissions must accurately reflect what the science says is necessary. We need fairness, in that the balance of commitments entered into by the developed and developing worlds must be a fair reflection of the extent to which each is responsible for the problem and able to deal with it. We also need effectiveness, in that words alone are useless without rigorous monitoring, reporting and verification. I would add a fourth principle, both for Copenhagen and for our domestic action: urgency.

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