Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Mr Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) (Con): My right hon. Friend made the breathtaking claim that he intended to keep energy prices as low as possible. How does he square that with the Stern review, on which his policy to combat climate change is based, and which makes clear that that policy can work only if energy prices are raised to include the external cost of global heating, and if the cost of hydrocarbon-based energy is also raised to make it more expensive than other forms of sustainable energy? In short, if his policy is not hurting, it is not working.

    Chris Huhne: I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his question. If he is in any way unsatisfied with the explanations that we have given in the documents-explanations which are considerably more detailed than those provided by any previous Government-he should ask for a briefing, and we will ensure that he receives any additional answers that he may require.

    The key point, however, is that a substantial part of what we need to do to tackle climate change involves measures included in our green deal legislation which pay for themselves and do not involve a cost, while those that do involve a cost-namely the raising of prices to enable us to move to a low-carbon economy when it comes to electricity generation-are offset by the reduction in energy volumes precisely because of our energy-saving measures.

    I commend the document to the right hon. Gentleman. I am sure he will find is persuasive.