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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): My Lords, I accept what both the noble Lord, Lord Ezra, and the noble Baroness, Lady Miller of Hendon, said about the importance of energy efficiency and I do not resile at all from the objectives set out in that respect in the White Paper. However, the Government cannot accept that this amendment is necessary. The amendment would duplicate what is already in the Sustainable Energy Act 2003. It would also duplicate the energy efficiency aim which is to be published in fulfilment of the provisions of that Act, and to which the noble Lord and the noble Baroness referred.

The 2003 Act obliges the Secretary of State to publish annually a sustainable energy report on progress towards the four goals of energy policy as set out in the energy White Paper. That clearly includes progress on all the main contributors towards that goal, which include energy efficiency. Therefore, we are already obliged to do that. We shall shortly publish a first annual report and the energy efficiency implementation plan of which the noble Baroness appears to have had sight of an early draft. We are doing that in pursuit not only of our commitments but also of the obligations under the Sustainable Energy Act. The principle in the measure that we are discussing would duplicate that. The figures in the proposed new clause are contained in the energy White Paper and are the figures on which we shall have to report progress.

Improving energy efficiency is particularly important in achieving the absolute carbon goals and in achieving the fuel poverty targets. Therefore, that matter will be covered in considerable detail in the annual report and the related papers. The proposed new clause would constitute a new energy efficiency aim which is already an obligation on the Secretary of State under the Sustainable Energy Act. As I say, we intend to fulfil that obligation shortly in the energy efficiency implementation plan. If accepted, the proposed new clause would duplicate a requirement that already exists. Therefore, the amendment is not necessary.

5 p.m.

Baroness Byford: My Lords, the Minister mentioned that some of the points were covered in the energy White Paper. Will he not accept that what is in an energy White Paper is obviously not part of a Bill anyway? Might he slightly reconsider the answer that he has given to the noble Lord, Lord Ezra, because the two simply do not add up?

Lord Whitty: My Lords, the Sustainable Energy Act obliges the Secretary of State to report annually—that is the report that will be coming shortly—on progress towards the objectives of the White Paper. Therefore that aspect of the White Paper, as others, will be covered in that report and associated documents. We are already obliged to do that. No one is changing the

20 Apr 2004 : Column 186

nature of the energy White Paper's objectives, and nor are we resiling from the obligation to report just that under the Sustainable Energy Act.

Lord Ezra: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Miller of Hendon, for her powerful support for the amendment, and I thank the Minister for his considered response. However, I must say that the Bill provides us with an opportunity to emphasise the importance that we attach to restating the specific commitments mentioned in the energy White Paper. That White Paper has no statutory significance, and the amendment would give it statutory significance. That is all the more important in the light of the figures cited by the noble Baroness about the fact that, in the past two years, carbon emissions have actually increased.

We must restate very clearly the objective of achieving the 5 million tonnes' reduction in carbon emissions in the domestic market by 2010. The figure is actually 4 million to 6 million tonnes in the White Paper in the succeeding 10 years. I cannot see why the Government should object to that restatement, to which they have repeatedly committed themselves. I would therefore like to test the opinion of the House.

5.2 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 1) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 141; Not-Contents, 116.

Division No. 1

CONTENTS

Addington, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Arran, E.
Attlee, E.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Blaker, L.
Bowness, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Byford, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Clement-Jones, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Deedes, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Elles, B.
Elton, L.
Ezra, L.
Fearn, L.
Ferrers, E.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Garel-Jones, L.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Goodhart, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooper, B.
Hooson, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
James of Holland Park, B.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Kingsland, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lawson of Blaby, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E. [Teller]
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Montrose, D.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Newby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L. [Teller]
Rotherwick, L.
Russell, E.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandberg, L.
Sandwich, E.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Sheppard of Didgemere, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Stern, B.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Taverne, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tordoff, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vinson, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Windlesham, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B. (The Lord President of the Council.)
Andrews, B.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Blood, B.
Boothroyd, B.
Borrie, L.
Boston of Faversham, L.
Bragg, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Carter, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gavron, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Laming, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McCarthy, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Pendry, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rogan, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sheldon, L.
Sheppard of Liverpool, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Triesman, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Weatherill, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

20 Apr 2004 : Column 188

5.12 p.m.

Clause 4 [Constitution of NDA]:


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