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COP26 Commitments: Government Procurement

Volume 707: debated on Wednesday 19 January 2022

2. Whether he has had discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the potential contribution of Government procurement to delivering on COP26 commitments. (905159)

As my hon. Friend knows, the Government put in place a new procurement policy that underlines the UK’s global leadership in tackling climate change. Prospective suppliers bidding for contracts above £5 million a year must now have committed to the Government’s target of net zero by 2050 and have published a carbon reduction plan.

In line with the COP26 goal of adapting to protect communities and natural habitats, what conversations has my right hon. Friend had with colleagues to ensure Government procurement of biodegradable face masks?

My hon. Friend raises a very important point. The Department of Health and Social Care is indeed actively exploring the use of reusable face masks, reusable eye protection and reusable transparent masks. I will ensure that the relevant Minister from the Department writes to him with more details.

As the COP26 President knows, the Glasgow climate pact reaffirmed the ambition to limit global heating to 1.5°. He also knows that the International Energy Agency has made it really clear that if we are to meet that target there can be no new oil, gas or coal projects. So will he make the case to the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister that the 40 new fossil fuel projects in the pipeline for approval in the UK are plainly incompatible with the terms of the agreement that he presided over?

I wish that sometimes the hon. Lady would praise the work that the Government are doing in terms of pushing forward on renewables. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has set out a consultation on a climate compatibility checkpoint when it comes to future licences, and she should write in and set out her views.