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The Climate Change Bill is still going through another place, but we could well have had on the front of this legislation a statement from the Minister saying that, in her view, its provisions are compatible with those of the Climate Change Bill. If that had been the case, moving the whole way through the veins of this Bill would have been the requirement that it should be compatible with the climate change legislation. But a statement is not on here, so I warmly support the amendment of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Liverpool. We ought to have something in the Bill to that effect.

Lord Cobbold: I rise briefly to support the amendment proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Reay, which I believe is an accurate representation of the situation regarding climate change.

Baroness Andrews: I am very grateful to the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Liverpool for leading a debate on such an important topic with a substantial amendment which has allowed Members all around the Committee to have a good go at the significance of what we are trying to do in both the Climate Change Bill and this legislation. I should say how delighted we all were when we heard about the creation of a new Department of Energy and Climate Change, and I would simply say to the noble Lord, Lord Reay, that I cannot see how we can possibly achieve energy security without moving to a low carbon economy. We are challenged by climate change in all aspects of our national life and it is up to us to respond as rationally as possible. We have already made clear in the three Bills that so many noble Lords have referred to—not least in a very powerful speech by the noble Lord, Lord Teverson—that climate change and energy are to be brought together. That certainly will help to drive the transition to a low carbon economy. Having one department will focus and accelerate that process.



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I shall start by addressing the two substantial amendments. Amendment No. 40 to Clause 5 would require that,

and that a statement should be included in the NPS saying so. Amendment No. 87 would add to the clause a duty on the Secretary of State to draw up every NPS,

I will not repeat what I said at Second Reading, but I need to put on the record the fact that we think the Bill itself contains robust provisions to address this issue. It is important to open by saying that climate change is a key consideration in sustainable development generally and that our objectives are central to the consideration of future infrastructure needs. That is why we have in Clause 10 a duty on the Secretary of State to ensure that NPSs are drawn up with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development, and why there will be robust appraisals of sustainability which will, of course, include consideration of climate change.

We have made it clear that NPSs will integrate government objectives in terms of environmental, social and economic policy, including climate change objectives, in order to help us deliver sustainable development. Earlier today I talked about the appraisal of sustainability, which will apply to all statements to ensure that environmental, social and economic objectives are properly factored in. Again that will be bound to consider the effects of draft NPSs in relation to climate change. That should be seen alongside the policy commitment in the planning White Paper to consider climate change when NPSs are being developed. We have also outlined the key connection between NPSs and the Climate Change Bill, which will put into statute legally binding targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 60 per cent by 2050 against the 1990 baseline. As arrangements for managing the carbon budgets established under that Bill are yet to be fully developed, it would be unwise for me to try to describe here precisely how they will affect Ministers responsible for developing NPSs, but let me reassure noble Lords that when we are developing them, Ministers will have to do so in the context of this new and very explicit regime. We have also made clear that NPSs will take account of all government policy relevant to decision-making and that will include climate change. We will have to have regard to the Bill’s provisions, which many of your Lordships have worked consistently to get right. We are aware that budgets will be set and that the five-year budget period has already begun. We are also aware that we will have to work across Whitehall to manage those carbon budgets once they are established.

The Climate Change Bill, the energy White Paper and the Energy Bill provide an overall framework for tackling climate change. As many noble Lords have said, it is a troika of progressive legislation to help address the great challenge of our world. The new department will enable the best possible synergy between policies which aim for energy and climate security.



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Although we have a robust framework, I have heard the arguments put forward from all sides of the Committee about the virtue of placing specific duties on Ministers when drawing up NPSs. I understand the concerns and the passion with which, for example, the noble Lord, Lord Taylor, raised the issue. We are all agreed about the magnitude of the challenge and I sympathise with what has been said. We are trying to achieve the same thing—that is, to ensure that the framework of future infrastructure provides for sustainable development and places it at its heart. I am therefore minded to think further about these complex issues. I hope that noble Lords will allow me to give them further thought. I will take up the invitation to discuss them with noble Lords across the Chamber. The amendments are not necessarily the right approach, as we always have to watch out for unintended consequences. I will therefore need some time to give thought to the matter, which I am happy to do.

I do not have such good news in regard to the amendments to Part 5 which relate to greater clarity of information on carbon budgets in general. Amendment No. 52 would add to the list of examples of policy which may be included in a national policy statement. It seeks to include a policy of setting out what contribution the national policy statement will make towards meeting the carbon budgets established under the Climate Change Act. As the list is quite conditional it is already possible for the NPSs to do this.

I turn to the other amendments to Part 5. Amendment No. 177 would require an application for an NSIP to be accompanied by a declaration showing the contribution that the application will make towards meeting the commitments for carbon limitation made under the Climate Change Bill. Amendment No. 199 has been tabled by four distinguished Members of the Committee and would require a promoter to prepare a statement setting out the expected carbon emissions that will arise from the construction, operation and decommissioning of the proposed development, having regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of State and the commission.

I find it slightly odd, in the great scheme of things, to place a duty on promoters of individual projects to set out what contribution the application will make towards meeting the commitments for carbon reduction under the Bill. Duties under the Climate Change Bill bite on Ministers and the responsibility for meeting those targets rightly falls on them. I have sympathy with what noble Lords are trying to achieve through Amendment No. 199, but any application for a large-scale project that would have a significant environmental impact would be highly likely to require an environmental impact assessment under the directive. This would look at the significant impacts of proposals and would include incorporating the impact of carbon emissions. That may well address that issue but, ultimately, the key is to ensure that national policy statements effectively set out policy in relation to the type of infrastructure in question in the way I have outlined. That is the way to secure the IPC decisions in accordance with the NPS. I do not think it is necessary or sensible to introduce the duty on promoters.



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When I look at Amendments Nos. 410 and 411, tabled by the noble Lords, Lord Taylor of Holbeach and Lord Teverson, and the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, I am minded to think about that point. I shall briefly explain. The amendments would require a regional planning body, when preparing a draft revision to the RSS, to include policies designed to secure that development and use of land in the region contributes to the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. It mirrors the duty proposed in Clause 173 for local planning authorities to include in their development plan documents, taken as a whole, policies to secure that development and use contribute to mitigation and adaptation, and applies that to the RSS.

The proposed duty in Clause 173 simply delivers the planning White Paper commitment to legislate to set out clearly the role of local planning authorities in tackling energy efficiency. Indeed, we expected in our planning policy statement that there would be a similar expectation of regional and spatial strategies. It does not make sense to leave out any of the levels of planning decision. We need consistency. Whether it needs to be said in legislation is a moot point, but I take the principle here. The Secretary of State approves the RSS and, in doing so, is certainly mindful of her own policies, which include climate change and carbon budgets. If noble Lords are willing, I will take that away and consider its implications in more detail.

Finally, on the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Reay, I will not address the broader argument that he used in relation to climate change. I do not think he found sympathy around the House, and I take issue with his analysis myself. Suffice it to say, under the circumstances, that Clause 173 sets out that local planning authorities must include in their development plan documents policies designed to secure that the development and use of land in their area contribute to mitigating and adapting to climate change. It is an important clause. It puts a duty on councillors, in preparing their local plans, to take action on climate change. Frankly, that is what local communities are asking for. The local authorities have been at the forefront of much of what is truly progressive and radical with regard to climate change over the past few years, and that is all to the good. The duty is vital, and it is important that the planning system takes account of the need. Taking the clause away would remove an important responsibility that local authorities are keen to take up. Indeed, the duty has been welcomed by stakeholders because of the positive contribution it will make. I will not go into any more detail. That is probably sufficient to address that amendment.

In short, I am pleased that we are in agreement on the question of how we address this issue to make it effective. We will take away and think about the two amendments I have identified. I am grateful to all noble Lords who have spoken in this debate today.

The Lord Bishop of Liverpool: I am grateful to all noble Lords who have contributed and aired the arguments so cogently. I am grateful even for the dissenting voices—I do not think it is a matter of either/or; rather, it is both energy security and climate change. It is too late in the day for me to comment on each. I am

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grateful for the biblical metaphor of the noble Baroness, Lady Young, of girding our loins and facing the issue.

This evening, though, we are particularly grateful for the graciousness of the Minister. We thank her for being prepared to think again. On behalf of noble Lords, I say that we are willing to work with her and her officials in finding a way to integrate the carbon agenda in the Planning Bill. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.



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Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Patel of Bradford: I beg to move that the House do now resume.

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

House resumed.


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