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When the Committee on Climate Change is up and working, its members and secretariat will be bound to consult all kinds of outside bodies with the necessary expertise, including, I imagine, both corporate and individual members of the Royal Society, engineering institutions, and business and finance. It is not a case of the committee, whatever the number of its members—which may be small, as we suggest—doing everything itself. It will have to touch base with a range of expertise across society. I am absolutely certain that the bodies that have been mentioned with regard to nominating members will be involved in this work. However, we cannot accept the amendments on nominating members. As I set out on the previous occasion, Clause 27 already requires the committee to set out reasons for its advice on carbon budgets so it will be clear how it has balanced climate science with the other issues which it has to take into account.

I repeat that the process of appointment is being regulated and monitored by the commissioner. There are some Parliamentary Questions that I understand will be answered on Wednesday. That is the advice I have been given. I have not seen them or the draft Answers yet but I understand that I will be in a position to answer them on behalf of my ministerial colleagues on Wednesday.

As for the devolved Administrations, in some ways—I am thinking aloud here—the noble Lord gives an example about how the chairman might be pro or anti something. The fact is that this is an advisory committee, not an executive one. The example I gave in my previous speech was on the nuclear power issue. The Government have set out their position clearly. The climate change committee is an advisory committee, not an executive one. What the First Minister in Scotland has a view on should not figure. It will be the merit of the science and the quality of the individual because the Government are taking the overall decision, as was clearly indicated by the White Paper last week. To the best of my knowledge, there have been no issues where we have not been able to reach agreement with the devolved Administrations over the appointment of people to bodies. That was set down in the protocols at the time of devolution and it is working quite satisfactorily.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: On the point made by the noble Lord in referring to what my noble friend Lord Caithness said, paragraph 1(3)(d) of Schedule 1 states that the committee should have experience in or knowledge of,



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Does that mean the political possibility of doing so? I think that is what my noble friend was talking about. I cannot quite see what sort of person on the committee would be capable of helping it to implement paragraph 1(3)(d). Is it about the geography of different parts of the United Kingdom and their climatic conditions, or does it include the art of what is politically possible to implement? I do not quite understand what paragraph 1(3)(d) of Schedule 1 means. As politics in Scotland are diverging somewhat, I think that should be taken into account.

Lord Rooker: I do not have a detailed answer to the noble Baroness’s question but, because of the way it is written, one could make the same argument if one listed Northern Ireland. You cannot take any cognisance of the view and capacity of, for example, Northern Ireland ignoring the fact of the island of Ireland. It is a question of business and practicalities and goes way beyond the science. I am not saying that one person would encompass all that.

It is desirable to have as much of what is in sub-paragraph (3) as possible. The idea of having nominees is not necessarily the issue: the devolved Administrations need to have the comfort that this is not a London-centric or England-centric committee. One has to go wider than that. In other policy areas, we are having no difficulty with the devolved Administrations in making sure that their views and the differences within the United Kingdom, as indicated by England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are taken into account.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: I thank the Minister for the way in which he has covered all the ground in the debate. It is clear to us all that the amendments may have their imperfections. Nonetheless, they were directed at making sure that we have the right and best people to perform the tasks of this committee. Indeed, when one thinks of the quality of the contributions that noble Lords have made, what a fine Committee on Climate Change we would have if we could see many such individuals involved with the deliberations of the body. From engineer to president of the Royal Society, the House contains a distinguished range of talent that it can draw on to consider these matters.

In the circumstances, I am pleased to withdraw the amendment, but I say all strength to the Minister’s elbow in putting on pressure to get the name of the chairman of the shadow committee into the public domain. It will reassure many people if it is clear that the right sorts of people are being appointed to do this task. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 124 not moved.]

The Lord Bishop of Liverpool moved Amendment No. 124A:

The right reverend Prelate said: In seeking to introduce to the scope of the Committee on Climate Change the dimension of international development,

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the amendments seek to balance the other important interests on the committee with the needs of those who are already being affected in their millions by the impact of climate change.

The Government already accept an obligation to help poor countries through the work of DfID. The amendment would ensure that that responsibility is integrated into the committee and into the Government’s overall strategy on climate change. A few months ago, I was in America meeting political and religious leaders about the environment. The faith communities have a major role in changing hearts and minds about the threat of global warming in America, Europe and throughout the world. In Orlando and Washington, I was involved in leading seminars with evangelical leaders, imams and rabbis, whose increasing concern is focused on the impact of climate change on the poor of the world. I also had meetings on Capitol Hill, facilitated by the British embassy, with officials in Speaker Pelosi’s office and with the staff of Senator Boxer, who are closely involved in the climate security Act that is going through Congress.

In all those meetings, I observed huge interest in and great appreciation of the UK Government’s leadership, especially in their initiative in introducing this Bill. I say that in the hope that the Minister will recognise that my noble friend the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of London, the noble Baroness, Lady Northover, and I tabled the amendments to strengthen the Bill.

We all know, and the point has been well made during our debates, that this crisis affects the whole planet, and it cannot be dealt with by one nation alone. That has been the position adopted by the Government in both the Kyoto Protocol, where they took such an effective lead, and in the Bali negotiations. The amendments seek to bring to the heart of the committee’s work this international dimension. To do so would strengthen Her Majesty’s Government’s standing on the international stage and give an example to other nations that we cannot and must not take decisions without regard to international negotiations and international development.

There were many impressive speeches on Second Reading. I regret that, because of duties in Liverpool, I had to withdraw from the debate at the last moment, but I heard the speech made by the noble Lord, Lord Puttnam. Noble Lords will remember that he made an impassioned plea that this was at heart a moral issue. He compared the Bill with the legislation to abolish the slave trade. One of the turning points in the parliamentary mood that helped to secure the votes to pass the legislation was when the parliamentary commission heard evidence from a former slave ship commander, John Newton. That brought not just the facts but the experience of slave trading to the heart of the legislative process. The amendments seek to bring the experience of climate change to the heart of the Government’s decision making. I know that the Committee on Climate Change will include an expert on climate science and that person will certainly bring facts, but someone with expertise in international development would bring the human experience of the impact of climate change.



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The tragedy of the present situation of global warming is that the poor in developing countries are already feeling and suffering disastrously from the effects of climate change. They do not, however, have the power to do anything about it. Those of us who possess the power do not as yet feel the full impact of our actions and have therefore been slow to bring in the necessary measures. These amendments and the proposal to have on the Committee on Climate Change someone with expertise in international development will ensure that the voice of the poor and the plight of the powerless are heard and seen at the heart of government and, most importantly, will underline the urgency which is still lacking in the popular mood.

5 pm

The Bill requires the committee to,

It is difficult to see how the committee can fulfil this brief adequately without reference to what is happening in other parts of the world. I hope the Minister will view these amendments as a friendly and constructive contribution to the Bill and to the Government’s leadership on climate change nationally and internationally. I beg to move.

Lord Clinton-Davis: I have a great deal of sympathy with the point of the right reverend Prelate but I think he ought to consider the wording of paragraph 3, which states that the authorities,

of experience of the factors listed in sub-paragraph (3)(a) to (i). His point does not exclude the Government from considering the experience of people involved internationally, but we are primarily considering domestic legislation. While there is an obligation on the Government to consider, as I have said, what is listed in sub-paragraph (3)(a) to (i), it does not preclude the Government from investing their experience in selecting somebody with wide international experience as well.

I fail to understand, therefore, why it is necessary to include this particular provision, much as I have sympathy with the points which have been raised.

Baroness Northover: I support the amendments. I am glad that they have been put down and also separated out, because this is a useful reminder of what the Bill is all about. As so many speakers made clear at Second Reading, and as the right reverend Prelate has said so effectively, climate change is likely to have the greatest impact on developing countries and is already doing so. Given that the poorest people are less able to withstand the additional pressures and shocks of climate change, they are at the forefront of the impact of climate change. It is therefore extremely important that what we do in Britain is also assessed on its impact on developing countries in terms of whether we are doing enough and what we are doing.

To address what the noble Lord, Lord Clinton-Davis, has just said, there has been some discussion in previous sittings about climate credits. These could be adopted as a way forward; they might benefit the United Kingdom in tackling climate change and

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meeting its targets but they might not have a beneficial effect on developing countries. Therefore, we need to look at this in an international context. Climate credits could be positive or negative in developing countries—there are examples of both. We need that expertise in international development on the climate change committee to take this into consideration and to be sure that we are doing that.

As I mentioned in the debate on the previous amendment, it looks to me as if this committee is rather weighted towards business, economics and industry. I worry about the depth and nature of its expertise; we addressed a number of those issues just now. To be honest I did not feel that that was totally addressed by the Minister in his concluding remarks. International development is also an area which the committee must address, and we need to see that represented on it. I therefore argue that a more balanced composition should include expertise on the impact of climate change in the developing world.

We will later come to the subject of adaptation, raised by the noble Lord, Lord Puttnam, in the previous group. That is obviously extremely important and must be rapidly developed, particularly for the benefit of developing countries. Again, there are opportunities for us here in the United Kingdom, and the committee’s expertise must include that as well. That should benefit developing countries.

Having a committee member knowledgeable about climate impacts in developing countries might also help to provide a strong international perspective, which is clearly critical in what the committee is doing, to ensure that purely domestic economic factors do not dominate what the committee decides. It is of course not sufficient to suggest that climate scientists on the committee will themselves adequately address and safeguard this area; it would obviously depend entirely on the expertise and interest of those particular climate scientists and whether they had in interest in international development. The Bill is about a global problem. The climate change committee should undoubtedly have expertise in this area among its members.

Lord Puttnam: I support the amendment from a specific perspective. I am fortunate in that, in my day job as president of UNICEF in the UK, I have the chance to travel and see the impact of things which are sometimes ill reported or not reported at all, as they affect young people in remote areas of the world. We decided last September to commission a report from Dr Catherine Cameron—one of the advisers to the noble Lord, Lord Stern, in the preparation of his report—on the likely impact of climate change on children in the developing world. It will be published in the spring and I suspect that it will make fairly grim reading.

I know that my noble friend Lord Clinton-Davies did not mean that this issue was peripheral when he referred to it as domestic legislation. It is important to remember that those opposing William Wilberforce’s Bill did so on the basis that domestic legislation was being used to impact on the lives of people who were not directly affected and should not be the object of domestic legislation. Not quite in this Chamber, but

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certainly in this building, the case was made over and over again: why on earth was parliamentary time being taken up for the benefit of those who were not UK nationals and not directly affected by UK legislation?

Lord Clinton-Davis: May I—

Lord Puttnam: May I make my point? I know that that is not what my noble friend was referring to, but it cannot be said often enough that this is an international Bill. We are taking an international stance. We in UNICEF UK have taken a world lead in looking scientifically at the likely impact of climate change on young children around the world. I am enormously proud of that, and I hope the Committee is as well.

Lord Clinton-Davis: Does not my noble friend realise that the Government have a duty to do certain things, but that that does not preclude them from considering, where relevant, this particular issue?

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: To bring the discussion right down to the ground, would the committee have it in its power to discuss whether we should be growing more food here rather than bringing it from abroad? The noble Lord made the significant point that aeroplanes should not be included in the Bill. Whether green beans should be flown every day from Kenya or whether we should grow more beans here is a serious question. We do not know what the implications of, say, blueberries from Argentina are for the environment. Yet one has only to go into a supermarket and look around the counters to see where things are being imported from to realise that this is a huge issue. It is an international issue; the noble Lord, Lord Puttnam, who made a very inspiring speech about it, is right.

Would the committee have it in its power to talk about that? Should that be included in the scope of the amendment or does it come under the social impact policy?

Lord Avebury: The noble Baroness, Lady Carnegy of Lour, had made an interesting and useful point on whether the committee has the power to consider the sort of thing that the noble Lord, Lord Puttnam, referred to—that is, whether the activities that we undertake in the United Kingdom have a harmful effect on children overseas. If the committee is not empowered to consider that, should it be added to its functions? My view—I hope to convince the noble Lord, Lord Clinton-Davis, of this—is that the expertise mentioned in the amendment ought to be available to the committee to perform its functions, irrespective of whether we widen them in the sense that I am sure the noble Lord, Lord Puttnam, would advocate.

I refer Members of the Committee to the speech made by the Prime Minister when he was Chancellor, in introducing last year’s Budget. He said that Britain would lead the way in helping developing countries address climate change and announced a £50 million

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scheme to prevent the destruction of the largest rainforest in the world, in the Congo basin of central Africa.

In the same speech, Mr Brown mentioned the Iwokrama project, which is an area of 360,000 hectares dedicated by the people of Guyana as a research station for the benefit of humanity as a whole, to be administered by the Commonwealth. This is a good example of the need for the committee to have knowledge and experience of international development. Although, as the noble Lord, Lord Clinton-Davis, has said, its duties are primarily concerned with emissions in the United Kingdom, it has a duty under Clause 27(1)(c)(i) to advise the Secretary of State on the contribution towards meeting the carbon budget that should be made by trading schemes. Although initially only the ETS is set for implementation, others which may be developed in the future will cover activities by the United Kingdom in developing countries. There are activities under the Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism under which, according to the Government’s helpful briefing paper 5, $7 billion was invested in 2006 with another $25 billion in the pipeline.

It might be argued that, so far, rainforest preservation is not covered by the clean development mechanism, but in his reply to me last week, the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, said that the Government’s priority was to reduce emissions from deforestation and that, to achieve this, agreement had been reached at Bali for a framework of positive incentives. Deforestation accounts for between 18 and 25 per cent of global carbon emissions according to the Global Canopy Programme, and that has to be compared with the 3 per cent for which aviation is responsible, on which Members of the Committee rightly focused attention last Wednesday.

The noble Lord, Lord Rooker, also mentioned the Government’s review of financing mechanisms to reduce deforestation, which was announced last September and is expected to be fed into the next UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in 2009. Meanwhile, under Clause 30(2)(a), the committee might be asked to advise on the limits that are proposed to be set by any trading scheme that may be proposed involving measures to prevent deforestation.

5.15 pm

In another answer, the noble Lord, Lord Rooker, said that we were discussing a proposal by President Jagdeo, in a speech to the Commonwealth finance Ministers in Georgetown last October, to make Guyana's rainforests a carbon sink for the rest of the world. Mr Jagdeo reminded his audience that the Stern review had described avoiding deforestation as a highly cost-effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, the Brazilian environment Minister, Marina Silva, has suggested extending the Jagdeo plan to include the Brazilian and Venezuelan parts of the Amazon rainforest, which is an excellent idea from several points of view. One is that Brazil is the fourth largest contributor to global warming because of the way in which it is now burning up its forests and if

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Venezuela could be persuaded to join the venture, it could play a role in facilitating the UN Secretary-General’s good offices process for addressing the dispute between Guyana and Venezuela on their joint boundary.


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