Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about clean growth targets, gas and coal

On 10th April 2019 the Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, received written answers to three questions on the environment: on clean growth targets, gas and coal:

The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: (HL15041) To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they intend to announce (1) measurable targets, and (2) deadlines, for their clean growth measures announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement; by how much they intend to increase the proportion of green gas in the National Grid; and when they estimate that target will be reached.

Lord Henley: The Government are committed to accelerating the decarbonisation of our gas supplies by increasing the proportion of green gas in the grid. In order to meet our climate targets, we need to reduce our dependence on burning natural gas to heat our homes.

The Government will consult later this year on the appropriate mechanism to deliver the commitment to increase the proportion of green gas in the grid. This consultation will inform subsequent decisions about the design of the future mechanism, its implementation, timetable and targets.

The Future Homes Standard, announced in the Spring Statement, will be implemented through an uplift to the Building Regulations, subject to consultation in 2019.


The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: (HL15042 ) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the relationship between the clean growth measures announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement and the recommendations in the report by the Committee on Climate Change UK housing: fit for the future?, published on 21 February, in particular that Committee’s proposal to ban gas boilers and cookers from 2025.

Lord Henley: The Future Homes Standard builds on the Industrial Strategy Clean Growth buildings mission to at least halve the energy use of new build property by 2030 and halve the cost of renovating existing buildings to a similar standard as new buildings, while increasing quality and safety. The Future Homes Standard will require all new build homes to have low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency, and will be introduced by 2025.

The Committee on Climate Change are a body that provides independent advice to Government on building a low-carbon economy and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Their recommendation about new connections to the gas grid is one of several made in the CCC report. The Government is reviewing the CCC’s recommendations.


The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: (HL15045) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the environmental impact of the new Woodhouse Colliery, in particular on their target set out in the Paris Agreement to limit climate temperature rises to below two degrees centigrade.

Lord Henley: The UK is committed to delivering the ambition of the Paris Agreement. The Climate Change Act committed the UK to reducing emissions by at least 80% compared to 1990 levels and we are phasing out the use of unabated coal for electricity generation by 2025. In response to the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C, we have asked the Climate Change Committee to advise on whether further action is needed.

Cumbria County Council took the decision to grant planning permission for the Woodhouse Colliery, subject to the completion of a section 106 planning obligation. It was the Council’s responsibility to consider this application in its role as minerals planning authority, and the Council would have considered all relevant material considerations, including environmental impacts, before reaching their decision.