Reply from David Cameron’s office
Thank you for your email about the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill.
As you know, this has been introduced as a Private Member’s Bill by the Labour Member of Parliament, Mark Lazarowicz. David Cameron and his colleagues in the Shadow Cabinet have fully supported this Bill throughout its development. Peter Ainsworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is a co-sponsor of the Bill. Greg Barker, our front bench spokesman on the environment, has been heavily involved in strengthening the provisions of the Bill in Committee stage.
We regard this Bill as a worthwhile step forward which would help to ratchet up environmental standards in buildings; improve energy efficiency; and enable residents and local authorities to make better use of renewable energy sources. It is closely aligned with the initiative we announced recently on decentralised energy, which our Quality of Life Policy Group is now considering at David Cameron’s request.
In short, the Conservative Party is fully supportive of this Bill and we very much hope that it becomes law.
However, as you know, Private Member’s Bills are not the subject of the usual Party Whip. It is entirely open to individual Members of Parliament to express their own personal views on such Bills, even if, as in this case, they differ with the policy of the party as a whole.
Although the actions of these two backbenchers may delay its passage, we remain hopeful that Mark Lazarowicz’s Bill will become law in due course. We are committed to cross-party co-operation on climate change. This is not an issue which can be tackled in the life-span of a single Government. It must be approached on a genuine long-term basis.
As you may also know, all Private Member’s Bills are vulnerable to falling foul of Parliamentary time constraints. Given that the Government has indicated that it supports the aims of this Bill, we very much hope that, in the event of the Bill not completing its passage, the Government would reintroduce its measures in Government time. Such a step would have the Conservative Party’s full support.
Thank you once again for writing.
David Cameron’s Office