Lord Prescott made his maiden speech in the House of Lords on Wednesday 14 July in a short debate on low-carbon technologies.
Lord Prescott referred to work on climate change he was involved with as a former minister and mentioning the summit in Kyoto, which led to an international agreement on climate change. He also outlined some of the issues that led to an enforceable, international agreement not being achieved at the Copenhagen Summit in 2009, adding concern that those ‘mistakes’ should not be repeated at the next climate summit – due to take place in Mexico in December 2010.
Lord Prescott spoke of the need to establish criteria for targets that reflect national carbon outputs on a per capita basis. He said any agreement should also reflect 'social justice and the right of developing countries to develop prosperity and reduce unemployment and poverty’ and expressed his hope for ‘a sensible compromise, allowing a continuing discussion and progress to a fully acceptable Kyoto 2’.
The Labour life Peer held a number of ministerial positions, including Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for the Department of Environment.
Lord Haskel tabled the question for short debate to ‘Ask her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to encourage low carbon technologies in the market place.’
Other issues raised during the debate included:
- use of public money to stimulate private investment
- shortage of skilled people, including the education system and the lack of diversity in the science and engineering professions
- role of renewable and nuclear energies
- measures to encourage consumers to make ‘green choices’ and ‘adopt low-carbon behaviour’.
The term ‘maiden speech’ refers to the first time a new Member gives a speech in the House of the Lords. A maiden speech usually takes place during a general debate and is uncontroversial.
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