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House of Commons Commission

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 21 January 2010

The hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, was asked—

CO2 Emissions

21. Which hon. Members have written to the (a) Serjeant at Arms and (b) House of Commons Commission in the last 12 months with proposals for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from the House of Commons part of the parliamentary estate. (312137)

Responsibility for environmental matters in the House rests with the Director General of Facilities. In the last 12 months, four Members have written in with proposals for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions on the parliamentary estate. Such correspondence is viewed as confidential, so it would not be right to name them. The number does not include Members who made requests for the Commons to participate in environmental campaigns, and several proposals were made orally or through parliamentary questions—[Interruption.]

Order. Far too many private conversations are taking place in the Chamber. A question was asked and the hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey) was answering it, but people kept on chuntering away. That is just bad manners.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. On 19 October, all members of the House of Commons Commission, from all parties, agreed that the House of Commons was not in a position to sign up to the 10:10 commitment. Two days later, the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam (Mr. Clegg) proposed a motion committing the House to 10:10. Did the hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey) tell his party leader that the House of Commons Commission had considered the matter and decided that it was not practical and that he personally would not vote for that motion?

I had a discussion with my hon. Friend the Member for North Southwark and Bermondsey (Simon Hughes), who was, I think, moving the motion to which the hon. Member for City of York (Hugh Bayley) alludes. I had a discussion with my hon. Friend and explained why the Commission, much as it would have wished to sign up to the 10:10 campaign, did not feel able to do so.