The Government have taken strong action to create a low-carbon economy, including setting up the Green Investment Bank and a catapult centre dedicated to new renewables, and electricity market reform. Through the Department’s industrial strategy, we are working with industry to increase green jobs via sector-specific strategies for the offshore wind and nuclear industries.
I am aware of the hon. Lady’s concern about the areas of outstanding natural beauty in Yorkshire, which she represents. There is indeed an expression of interest, but there are very strong environmental and safety protections around shale gas drilling, and I am sure she will look forward to the extra development that this will produce in her constituency in due course.
Does the Secretary of State realise that if we are to have a low-carbon economy, he and his Government have to start taking investment in higher education seriously? I chair the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s committee on sustainable production. If we do not put more money into postgraduate education, and if we do not support higher education and get away from this crazy system where all higher education relies on a mountain of student debt, we are heading for terrible trouble.