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Mr. Simon Thomas: I agree that the hon. Member for Gordon (Malcolm Bruce) might have over-egged the argument about preparations, but the Bali conference, which the Minister for the Environment said might be even more important than Johannesburg, is vital to how we consider the role of the summit. Will the Under-Secretary ensure that the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs gives a statement after the Bali conference, to which we have the opportunity to respond?

Hilary Benn: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising that. I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will carefully consider the suggestion that the House have a further opportunity, before Johannesburg, to consider what we want the summit to achieve.

The debate has been valuable because it has given the House a chance to focus on the two biggest challenges that we face: reducing world poverty and ensuring that

15 May 2002 : Column 874

that is done sustainably. Every contribution reflected on those challenges: how can we as human beings live within the earth's environmental means and, at the same time, tackle the problems of poverty, inequality and injustice? It is not a choice between the two. That came across clearly. We have to do both, which is what the world summit is all about. If it is to succeed, it will have to embrace both perspectives.

We have moved on from the days when it might have appeared that conservation was more interested in the trees than in the people who lived in the forests where those trees grew. We understand the importance of finding ways of earning a living that are consistent with sustaining the environment. As many hon. Members, including the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood), said, providing opportunities for trade will make a major contribution to lifting people out of poverty.

My hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Alan Simpson) mentioned genetically modified crops. That is a matter for all Governments—our Government, the Governments of developing countries or wherever—to make their own decisions on, weighing up the benefits and risks of their approach.

We also know that the poor suffer most from environmental problems. Let me give one statistic. Every year 2 million children under five die from acute respiratory infection. Two thirds of those deaths are thought to be related to indoor air pollution, which is caused principally by burning fuel in confined spaces for cooking and heating. That is a form of pollution that many people in the rich and developed world would not know of as a risk, yet it kills all those children every year.

My hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, Central (Mr. Jones) rightly referred to the rise in the sea level. If it rises around Bangladesh, the homes of the people who live on the delta will disappear. The people who live on the shifting sands of the shorelands of Bangladesh experience that every year. When the rains fall in the north and the water floods down, they have literally to pick up their homes and move. When I was in Bangladesh recently, I met a woman of about 45 who told me that she had moved 30 to 35 times in her life because of flooding.

Over the next generation, we will also have to face the urban challenge in developing countries. Most people in the rich world live in urban areas. In the developing world, with the exception of Latin America, there is a relatively low level of urbanisation, but that is about to change. While the rural population of developing countries is expected to remain at roughly 3 billion over the next 25 years, their urban population will double from 2 billion to 4 billion. To illustrate that, let me use as an example the city of which I have the honour, in part, to represent. That increase is the equivalent of 112 new cities the size of Leeds being created each year, every year, for the next 25 years across the globe.

One has to pause for a moment to contemplate the need for water, to which many hon. Members referred. I agree with the hon. Member for Richmond Park (Dr. Tonge) that water has to be affordable. We must also recognise the role that water provision plays in other aspects of development. If one puts a pump in a village, more girls will go to school because they will not have to spend time fetching and carrying water—a burden that falls particularly on women and girls.

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We must think of the need for sanitation and of the need for energy, which was mentioned by many hon. Members, including my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Thomas) and the hon. Member for Guildford (Sue Doughty). On energy, if we can get investment into developing countries—it is investment, and the ability to earn a living and to trade, that they need above all—the technology, which we now have the ability to use because of advances in science and understanding, will follow.

David Taylor (North-West Leicestershire): Is not one way of accelerating the investment to which my hon. Friend refers to build on the commendable progress that we have made in meeting the UN's target for aid of 0.7 per cent. of GDP? Does he agree that economically we are in a strong position to set an international lead by developing and publishing a timetable for this country to achieve that target? Is not that a possibility in this Parliament?

Hilary Benn: As my hon. Friend will know, after 20 years in which the UK aid budget declined as a share of our national wealth, we have started to reverse that trend and are now on an upward path. I hope that the comprehensive spending review will demonstrate further progress towards the UN target, which we want to achieve.

I am referring, however, to the investment that will make a major contribution to improving economic prospects in developing countries. Much of the aid that we give focuses on assisting Governments who want to get their kids into school, and on helping them to improve their health care and to achieve the right framework and environment so that investment will come to the country and give their people the opportunity of a better future.

We know from this debate that we in the rich world have to use less of the world's resources so as to create the environmental space for poorer countries to develop. I was much taken by the elegant phrase used by my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South, who talked about the need to take


As a number of hon. Members have rightly said, developing countries will not for one second buy the argument that because we in the rich world have used up so much of the Earth's resources, they must wait for another life to enjoy the same benefit.

The other point to remember about the world summit is that it is part of a process, and we need to get our expectations right. It is not a make-or-break event, but part of a series. The hon. Member for Banbury (Tony Baldry), who chairs the International Development Committee, rightly pointed out that it is part of a process in which the world is trying to address sustainability and poverty reduction. We hope that it will be able to build on the success of Doha in launching a new trade round, and on Monterrey, which has produced more aid.

Above all, we want to see practical outcomes. In a thoughtful speech, the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) reminded us that change is possible. I want to take just one example, which concerns the issue that the hon. Member for Richmond Park raised at the end

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of her speech, timber and forestry. Illegal logging is a major problem that uniquely brings together the two issues that the world summit is all about.

Illegal logging is estimated to involve the loss of resources from public land in those countries affected by it of between $10 billion and $15 billion a year, which is more than all the aid that the world gives for health and education, so it really matters and it is a big issue. It involves corruption and it affects the livelihoods of people who live in the forest and rely on it for their existence. There is rising public concern about illegality and sustainability. The recent experience of two Departments has shown how difficult it is to turn the good intentions that we all have into practical action. With illegal logging, however, we have a chance to do that. The Government of Indonesia, which is a very good example of a developing country that has taken a courageous lead on the issue, are seizing shipments. Indonesia's new Forestry Minister is keen to change the way things work in that country, but in the end there will have to be a deal—

Mr. Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove) rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question, That the Question be now put, put and agreed to.

Question put accordingly, That the original words stand part of the Question:—

The House divided: Ayes 56, Noes 282.

Division No. 242
[10 pm


AYES


Allan, Richard
Baker, Norman
Barrett, John
Beggs, Roy
Beith, Rt Hon A J
Brake, Tom
Breed, Colin
Brooke, Mrs Annette L
Bruce, Malcolm
Burnett, John
Burstow, Paul
Cable, Dr Vincent
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Campbell, Rt Hon Menzies
(NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Chidgey, David
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Doughty, Sue
Ewing, Annabelle
Foster, Don (Bath)
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Gidley, Sandra
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Harris, Dr Evan (Oxford W)
Harvey, Nick
Heath, David
Holmes, Paul
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Keetch, Paul
Kirkwood, Archy
Lamb, Norman
Laws, David
Llwyd, Elfyn
Moore, Michael
Oaten, Mark
Price, Adam
Pugh, Dr John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Dr Richard (Wyre F)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Tonge, Dr Jenny
Webb, Steve
Weir, Michael
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Willis, Phil
Younger–Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Ayes:


Mr. Andrew Stunell and
Mr. Paul Tyler.


NOES


Adams, Mrs Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Rt Hon Donald
(Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Atherton, Ms Candy
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Banks, Tony
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Battle, John
Beckett, Rt Hon Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Stuart
Benn, Hilary
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Borrow, David
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Rt Hon Nicholas
(Newcastle E & Wallsend)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Bryant, Chris
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Byers, Rt Hon Stephen
Caborn, Rt Hon Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Caplin, Ivor
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian
Challen, Colin
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann
Coaker, Vernon
Cohen, Harry
Coleman, Iain
Connarty, Michael
Corston, Jean
Cranston, Ross
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curtis–Thomas, Mrs Claire
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davidson, Ian
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)
Davies, Geraint (Croydon C)
Davis, Rt Hon Terry
(B'ham Hodge H)
Dawson, Hilton
Dean, Mrs Janet
Denham, Rt Hon John
Dhanda, Parmjit
Dismore, Andrew
Dobson, Rt Hon Frank
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, David
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff
Field, Rt Hon Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings)
Francis, Dr Hywel
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Healey, John
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Heyes, David
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hoey, Kate
Hoon, Rt Hon Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Howells, Dr Kim
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, Rt Hon John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Illsley, Eric
Irranca–Davies, Huw
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Keen, Alan (Feltham & Heston)
Keen, Ann (Brentford & Isleworth)
Kemp, Fraser
Khabra, Piara S
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Ladyman, Dr Stephen
Lammy, David
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell, Rt Hon Mrs Helen
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian
Luke, Iain
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McCartney, Rt Hon Ian
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mandelson, Rt Hon Peter
Mann, John
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall–Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meacher, Rt Hon Michael
Michael, Rt Hon Alun
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Moran, Margaret
Morris, Rt Hon Estelle
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Murphy, Rt Hon Paul (Torfaen)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
Olner, Bill
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr Nick
Pearson, Ian
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter
Pond, Chris
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purnell, James
Quin, Rt Hon Joyce
Quinn, Lawrie
Rammell, Bill
Raynsford, Rt Hon Nick
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie
Ruddock, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheridan, Jim
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Rt Hon Andrew (Oxford E)
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, Rt Hon John
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr Howard
Strang, Rt Hon Dr Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, Rt Hon Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Ms Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Tynan, Bill
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr Rudi
Ward, Ms Claire
Wareing, Robert N
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, Mrs Betty (Conwy)
Wills, Michael
Wilson, Brian
Winnick, David
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wray, James
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Noes:


Mrs. Anne McGuire and
Angela Smith.

Question accordingly negatived.

15 May 2002 : Column 878

Question, That the proposed words be there added, put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments), and agreed to.

Mr. Speaker forthwith declared the main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

Resolved,


15 May 2002 : Column 879


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