Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bangladesh - mentioned in Lords dispatches

From Monday's debate on the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Order 2010...

Baroness Scott of Needham Market: I thank the Minister for bringing this important instrument to the House today. My noble friend Lord Teverson, who knows so much about these issues, is unable to be with us this evening. However, we have had a number of discussions about this. I can say at the outset that we on these Benches are very positive about what you are seeking to achieve through this.

The timing is particularly good for me because last week I was with a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation to Bangladesh. This is a country where the rising sea levels in the south are already leading to mass migration and where melt waters from the Himalayas are causing widespread devastation. Climate change is a reality there that one can see every day and it puts this, and what we are seeking to achieve through this, very much into context.

I have a few questions for the noble Lord. First, can he confirm that fuel consumption is being calculated for these purposes on an average carbon emission level-in other words, that it is not taking into account how the carbon is generated? It seems rather odd to make no differentiation between organisations that are generating carbon that comes from renewable sources and those that are using coal-fired fuel. Is that the case, and might it be possible to adapt the scheme as we go on to recognise organisations that choose to use more sustainable energy forms?

Secondly, with the fixing of the carbon price at £12 per tonne, how confidant is the noble Lord that this is sufficiently high to genuinely have an impact on the behaviour of these large organisations-as he described it, the organisational inertia which has bedevilled us? How confident are the Government that there will be sufficient trading of these permits in order to create a viable market? There is certainly some doubt among experts that there will be.

Finally, even within the highly regulated EU ETS, there have been incidents of fraud and forged permits. Given that this scheme will include thousands of organisations, how confident are the Government about the auditing and management of the scheme?

We very much support what the Government are seeking to achieve with this instrument.

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