Rt Hon Lord Lilley


    Oral Parliamentary Question (OPQ)
    482 c932
    Lilley, Peter
    Carbon Dioxide Emissions
    During the debate on the Climate Change Bill, the Secretary of State made much of the fact that the targets that he has set will be legally binding. Will he confirm that that does not mean that Ministers or officials will be held to account or punished if they fail to meet those targets and that its only implication is that those targets are judicially reviewable? Does he accept that if a court believes that he is failing to achieve those targets, it could insist, without being democratically accountable to the public, that we spend more and take more measures to meet the targets-all £200 billion of them-than the Government are currently committed to?
    Dept of Energy and Climate Change
    Miliband, Edward

    I know from our debates that-

    I will. I know from our discussions that the right hon. Gentleman is a sceptic about some of our climate change targets. It is of course the case that the targets in the Bill will be judicially reviewable. It is also the case that there are limits to the actions that can be taken against Governments. However, the important point is that when the House set out its general cross-party consensus on long-term targets, it was a way of binding the hands of Ministers in this Government and Ministers in future Governments. No Parliament can completely bind the hands of the next Parliament, but this was an important innovation because it set out so clearly-in a cross-party consensus-the objectives that Ministers needed to follow to meet the targets.

    House of Commons (HoC)
    Commons Chamber