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Climate Change

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

The Secretary of State has regular discussions with the First Minister on a range of issues, including the vital subject of climate change.

My hon. Friend will realise that our commitment on climate change and to low-carbon energy is important. As Chairman of the all-party group on nuclear energy, I hope that two sites in Wales will bid for new nuclear facilities. Will my right hon. Friend assure me that, in his discussions with the First Minister, he will not experience the sort of problems that we did in Scotland with the Scottish National party?

I congratulate my hon. Friend on his tireless advocacy of nuclear power as part of the solution. Certainly, the Secretary of State recently met my hon. Friend the Member for Ynys Môn (Albert Owen) and representatives of Wylfa power station to discuss the future of the site, not only in its current form but in the context of any proposed new build. I assure my hon. Friend that the Wales Office remains fully supportive of new build at Wylfa and will continue to meet parties who are serious about making that happen.

The Welsh Assembly Government and the UK Government have jointly launched a feasibility study on the idea of a Severn barrage. Will the Minister confirm that any decision on that report will also be jointly made between the Welsh and UK Governments?

At all times—in the discussions on the Severn barrage and the report of the Sustainable Development Commission—there has been close dialogue and communication between the Welsh Assembly Government and the lead Department. I have no doubt that that will continue. It is worth pointing out that whatever option is pursued, the Severn barrage is unique in that it could save up to 3 per cent. of total UK carbon emissions and produce up to 5 per cent. of UK energy for the foreseeable future.