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Stern Report

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the authors of the Stern report on implementation of the recommendations of the report. (110213)

During the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, Sir Nicholas Stern had regular meetings with the Secretary of State to keep him updated on the review’s likely findings. However, the Stern Review was an independent report to Government, so the authors were not responsible for its implementation.

The key policy conclusions set out by the Stern Review’s final report were in line with the UK’s existing climate change policy measures and the work being taken forward following our Energy Review, in the DfID White Paper, and the forthcoming Energy White Paper.

Our response to the Stern report—some of which was announced at the report’s launch and some in the pre-Budget report—has two main focuses. First, we want to integrate the Stern report’s recommendations about international climate change into the UK’s own international climate change policy. For example, the report set out the key role of carbon pricing to ensure that the costs of climate change are factored into all economic decisions. The Chancellor, the Environment Secretary and the Trade and Industry Secretary subsequently published the Government’s vision to ensure that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme works to become the centre of a global carbon market.

Second, we are committed to taking action at home that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions without reducing economic growth. For example, the Stern report suggests a credible long-term framework is crucial to ensure effective low-carbon investment decisions and thus enhance competitiveness. In this respect, we announced a new Climate Change Bill, which will put into statute the Government’s long-term goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent. by 2050 and set out a framework for achieving this. This will also strengthen our ability to be global leaders in a future international framework for climate change.

We will continue to consider the conclusions of the Stern Review carefully to see if there is more we should do to ensure a sufficient global response to climate change.