Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Lord Lilley: My Lords, my pre-parliamentary career was working in developing countries on aid and development programmes and my African friends have driven home to me that the precondition of economic growth in Africa is not aid or trade, welcome as they are—and, still less, patronising advice from the West—but cheap and reliable electricity. Again and again they say that. If they have the opportunity of investing in renewables, and it is cheapest when backed up with other electricity from hydro or fossil fuels to provide reliability when the sun does not shine or the wind does not blow, they will choose it without any advice from us. Is it not hypocritical and damaging of us to cut off finance for them if they want cheaper, fossil-based electricity?

    Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: My Lords, again, my noble friend speaks with great insight and expertise, and I agree in the sense that this should not be in any way prescriptive. It should not mean the developed world preaching to the developing parts of the world. As I said earlier, it is about localised buy-in and real management and ownership of this transition by the country we are dealing with. Every transition is difficult, particularly in developing parts of the world. Of course, the ultimate case is to keep the lights on and ensure that the energy required across a given country is provided.