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Net Zero Emissions Target

Volume 698: debated on Tuesday 6 July 2021

I will pass on your displeasure, Mr Speaker. I had some very interesting answers to share with my hon. Friends, so I am as disappointed as you. Our 10-point plan lays the foundation for the transition to net zero, with key commitments and action including in offshore wind, zero-emission vehicles and building our green economy. Ahead of COP26, we will also publish a comprehensive net zero strategy. It will set out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy, making the most of new growth and employment opportunities across the UK.

May I press the Minister on the Aquind scheme, in which I believe she may have an interest that she needs to declare? It was raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Test (Dr Whitehead). How many green jobs will be provided by the proposed scheme and what national security assessment has been carried out, given that the project is sponsored by an oligarch who has donated £1 million to the Conservative party?

I am unable to answer any of the hon. Lady’s questions, because I have recused myself from all matters to do with the Aquind interconnector, because Northumberland Conservatives received some funds from one of the owners of the company.

The retrofitting of existing housing stock has to be a key component of our net zero drive. We have had the green deal and we have had the green homes grant. I think the most diplomatic way of putting it is that neither has realised their potential. Can I ask the Minister what comes next and when we might have sight of that?

The Government are continuing to fund a number of schemes as part of our commitment to retrofit homes in order to cut energy bills for the poorest households and make them greener on that path to net zero. The green homes grant local authority delivery scheme, which is supporting projects to install energy efficiency measures for low-income households, has already provided £500 million to local authorities and low-income households across England. That is being delivered up to the end of this year. In June this year, we launched the sustainable warmth competition, enabling local authorities to apply for further funding under the £200 million local authority delivery phase 3 scheme.