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Energy-intensive Businesses

Volume 703: debated on Tuesday 16 November 2021

We have continued to engage extensively with energy-intensive companies, including by visits from me as recently as yesterday. We want to understand their concerns and help secure a competitive and viable future for industries, which support so many high-skilled, high-wage jobs across the UK.

High Peak is home to the UK’s largest quarries and much of our lime production industry. Those lime producers are essential for construction, engineering and infrastructure, but they are being hit by a double whammy of soaring global energy prices and an outdated UK emissions trading system, which is still benchmarked at the old EU level, geared towards European plants operating to a significantly lower standard and also in receipt of generous state subsidy. The UK’s lime producers are committed to doing their bit to tackle climate change, but the current benchmark is unachievable given their production chemistry. I urge the Minister to urgently review the UK’s emissions trading system benchmark for lime producers.

As a fellow Derbyshire MP, I know how much of a loud, independent and big voice my hon. Friend gives to High Peak since his election in 2019. I am proud to work with him. On this specific subject, we know there are long-term challenges for industries and individual sectors, and we are grateful for his comments. I am happy to meet him to talk more about this, if that would be helpful.