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Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Volume 647: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2018

As the hon. Gentleman will know, on Monday I wrote to the chair of the Committee on Climate Change for advice on how to get to a zero-carbon future. We did not ask for a specific date. We asked for advice on what date would be appropriate, as well as an analysis of the costs and benefits. I expect a response by next March. He will know, as the proud representative of one of the finest universities in the world, that so much of that change will be based on innovation and research, much of which is going on in his fine city. That is why we have contributed more than £2.5 billion during this Parliament to support that research, which can help us to save the planet.

I thank the right hon. Lady for her reply, but does she not understand that freezing fuel duty and cutting support for electric vehicles and hybrids is in no way going to help us to achieve the goal that we all want to arrive at?

I know the hon. Gentleman’s city well and I commend the council there—it is the wrong colour, but it is making many good decisions on such things as solar bins, cycling and walking, which are very possible in a city such as Cambridge. In constituencies such as mine, people have to rely on their vehicles. We know that the cost of living is an issue and it is right that we continue to help people to put some money back in their pockets. On electric vehicles, 13% of new vehicles sold in August this year were ultra-low emission. That market is evolving and the cost of those vehicles is coming down. We have spent half a billion pounds of taxpayers’ money subsidising the purchase of those vehicles and my expectation is that the price will continue to fall faster as we see the infrastructure build up.