Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Thursday, 28 June 2012 18:15 UK

Green economy debate

MPs took part in a debate on fiscal measures to strengthen the green economic sector, tabled by the Backbench Business Committee on 28 June 2012.

Opening the debate, Conservative MP Laura Sandys told the House that she was not interested in what she described as "sandal economies" but measures "to increase productivity [and] to improve output".

She gave the example of a windfarm construction project in her South Thanet constituency, which she said was "much more about heavy engineering than... traditional green jobs".

But fellow Conservative MP Peter Lilley was scathing about the suggestion that renewable energy would stimulate the economy and argued that humans had enjoyed a higher standard of living as a result of using fossil fuels.

He said: "My honourable friends may want to return to a medieval economy relying on unreliable, high-cost, water, sunshine, wood and wind, but I don't. I am a Conservative, not a reactionary."

Green MP Caroline Lucas said if she could pick "one measure which would offer huge, tangible benefits, certainly in my constituency and in the rest of the UK, it would be a massive investment in making the UK's housing stock super energy efficient".

"This would be not only good in getting emissions down, not only good in terms of creating lots of jobs, but crucially it would really tackle fuel poverty as well," she said.

Shadow economic secretary Cathy Jamieson said she was proud of the record of the last Labour government's efforts to tackle climate change.

She said Labour had "worked tirelessly to attract low carbon investment and to strengthen the UK's green economy".

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Chloe Smith reiterated the government's commitment to cut the deficit but insisted: "Our entire economy needs to be environmentally sustainable... it is both economically and environmentally the right thing to do."

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has published a draft energy bill which puts in place measures to attract £110bn investment to upgrade the national grid and electricity supply.

The bill also includes a minimum price for carbon emissions and the setting of feed-in tariffs for individual consumers who are able to generate their own renewable energy supplies.


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