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Climate Change

Volume 677: debated on Tuesday 16 June 2020

Since 1990 we have grown the economy by 75% while cutting emissions by 43%, and in June 2019, we became the first major economy to legislate for a net zero carbon emissions target.

We are hosting the COP26 climate negotiations next year. Along with our G7 presidency, we are determined to use our international leadership to drive global climate ambition.

What assessment has my right hon. Friend’s Department made of the potentially significant role that nuclear power can play, in hydrogen production from both large and small reactors? Does he agree that Wylfa Newydd, in my constituency of Ynys Môn, is the jewel in the crown of new nuclear sites?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that question. New nuclear obviously has an important part to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are investing in new nuclear. On Wylfa, I am afraid I cannot comment on the merits of the site, given that the Secretary of State is currently considering a development consent application. That said, there are a number of potentially good sites around the entire United Kingdom.

The COP26 summit, now rescheduled for November 2021, will be a critical moment in a fight against runaway global heating. We all have a stake in ensuring that it is a success. Building momentum for that summit and establishing our credibility as its host is dependent on demonstrable leadership at home. In that regard, does the Minister agree that there is a strong case for publishing our nationally determined contribution before the end of 2020, and an arguable case for basing that NDC on a significantly enhanced 2030 target that puts us on the path to achieving net zero?

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is, of course, president of the COP26. He is committed to publishing very rigorous and ambitious targets for ourselves. As I said to my hon. Friend the Member for Ynys Môn (Virginia Crosbie), we are second to none in our commitment—our legislation—in terms of dealing with climate change. We have legislation that is very clear and sets the path.