Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden, Conservative)
Lord Stern, whose discredited report still forms the rationale for the Government’s energy policy, calculated in 2006 the amount by which the price of hydrocarbons needed to be increased in order to decarbonise the economy. Since then, the price of hydrocarbons has risen faster and further than either Lord Stern or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change thought sufficient, so why does my right hon. Friend propose to pile Pelion upon Ossa by burdening British industry and households with these tripled taxes?
Edward Davey (Kingston and Surbiton, Liberal Democrat)
My right hon. Friend has been consistent: he voted against the Climate Change Act 2008 and he clearly does not like our low-carbon policies today. The fact that fossil fuel prices have gone up is yet another argument for our policies. We need to insulate our economy, our consumers and our businesses from those high prices. This country has to import far more fossil fuels than we used to because North sea resources are going down, and that is leaving our economy exposed. We need to tackle that issue for reasons of energy security and to ensure that we have competitive prices.