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We believe that it makes sense for all these issues to be looked at together, and that the climate change committee will have the right expertise to do this most effectively. We therefore propose to await the committee’s advice before making any decision to change the basis of the target.

In addition, since the Bill was published, the timing for the committee’s review of the 2050 target has been brought forward. We are therefore also looking at whether Clause 19(2) remains appropriate. Clause 19(2) would prevent other greenhouse gases from being included in a budget period which had already started—the intention behind this provision was to provide greater certainty to the relevant sectors of the economy. However, now that the committee will review the 2050 target alongside its advice on the first three carbon budgets, we are reassessing the effect of Clause 19(2) and may—I suspect that means “will”—bring forward a Government amendment on this point in due course.

Turning to the intention of noble Lords to oppose the Question that Clause 20 stand part of the Bill, Clause 20 is an important part of the Bill which

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builds on the provisions of Clause 19. We will shortly discuss this clause in more detail—for example, in addressing Amendment No. 105—but let me say for now that the main intention of Clause 20 is to ensure the approach taken in the UK is able to match the international context.

I would urge noble Lords to reserve their judgment on whether or not this clause should stand part of the Bill until we have debated the other amendments relating to it. I realise that in our selection it is Amendments Nos. 99, 100 and Clause 20 stand part, but if we do not push that now we will come back to this and we can clear up the points relating to Clauses 19 and 20 early tomorrow.

Lord Redesdale: Since the committee is coming up with a set figure for greenhouse gases, will that be implemented across government? At the moment there is a discussion about the value of carbon dioxide emissions between Defra and DBERR. If the committee comes up with a sensible solution, will that be adopted by all government departments?

Lord Rooker: I think I had better say yes to that and if I am wrong I will correct it tomorrow.

Lord Crickhowell: I posed particularly the question about the recommendations of the Joint Committee and I thank the Minister for a helpful and constructive answer, which I think takes us a considerable step forward.

Lord Teverson: The reason for including a debate on whether Clause 20 should stand part is because if the amendment was accepted, the other clause would become irrelevant and thus not needed in the Bill. It is not because we are against it, but it is not relevant because greenhouse gases are included in all the provisions of the Bill. That is how I see it, so that is why I have included it here.

There is a lot of good news here from the Minister, and indeed some of what he has said is new to me. I have learnt that this is being pursued actively. However, given the correct arguments the Government have put in so many other areas on being compliant with international standards, I do not understand why they do not take a decision on that basis and simply go with the rest of Europe and the Kyoto process. Why is that so difficult when the Government would be seen as being more successful in their record so far if they took that route? I would not want to persuade the Minister on that basis, but I am sure that this is an area we shall come back to. For the moment, however, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Davies of Oldham: I beg to move that the House do now resume.

Moved accordingly, and, on Question, Motion agreed to.

House resumed.

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