Debate on the political response to climate change

22 October 2009

The House of Commons debated and voted on a Liberal Democrat motion and a Government amendment on the political response in the UK to climate change

The Liberal Democrat motion was as follows:

Mr Nick Clegg, Dr Vincent Cable, Simon Hughes, Martin Horwood, Mr David Heath, Mr Paul Burstow, Lynne Jones

That this House believes that it is vital that the UK demonstrates political leadership at all levels in response to the climate crisis, and that this is particularly important ahead of the United Nations Climate Change summit in Copenhagen if there is to be an international agreement which will avert the worst effects of catastrophic climate change; further believes that immediate practical responses to the crisis should include a massive expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency and a commitment for all homes in Britain to be warm homes within 10 years; acknowledges that action taken now to tackle the climate crisis will cost less than action taken in the future; notes the declared support of Labour and Conservative frontbenchers to the objective of the 10:10 campaign which calls for 10 per cent. greenhouse gas emission reductions by the end of 2010; agrees that the House will sign up to the 10:10 campaign; calls on Her Majesty’s Government and all public sector bodies now to make it their policy to achieve a 10 per cent. reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2010; and further calls on the Government to bring a delivery plan before this House by the end of 2009 on how these objectives will be achieved.

The Government amendment to this motion was as follows:

The Prime Minister, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ms Harriet Harman, Secretary David Miliband, Secretary Hilary Benn, Secretary John Denham, Mr Secretary Alexander, Secretary Edward Miliband, Joan Ruddock, Mr David Kidney

Line 1, leave out from ‘House’ to end and add ‘welcomes the 10:10 campaign as a motivator of public action to cut carbon dioxide emissions through individual and collective behaviour change; recognises the value of such campaigns to build public support for action by governments to agree an ambitious, effective and fair deal at Copenhagen; further recognises the significant effort made by individuals and organisations to cut their emissions through the 10:10 campaign; supports the Climate Change Act introduced by this Government, the first such legislation in the world, and the system of carbon budgets that enables Britain to set itself on a low carbon pathway; notes that carbon budgets ensure active policies by Whitehall departments and the public sector that deliver long-term sustained emissions reductions not just in 2010 but through to 2022 and beyond; further supports the efforts of local councils to move towards local carbon budgets by signing up to the 10:10 campaign; further welcomes the allocation of up to £20 million for central Government departments to enable them to reduce further and faster carbon dioxide emissions from their operations, estate and transport; and further welcomes the cross-cutting Public Value Programme review of the low carbon potential of the public sector, which will focus on how the sector can achieve transformational financial savings through value-for-money carbon reductions.’.

Image: iStockphoto

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