Rosie Winterton Portrait The First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means (Dame Rosie Winterton)
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Before I bring in some of those who may not have tabled amendments, I remind Members that we are at Committee stage, so discussion is of the amendments. However, as we are also discussing clauses 1 and 2 stand part, there is perhaps a little more scope.

Peter Aldous Portrait Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con)
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As I mentioned on Second Reading, the Bill is of particular interest to me because the oil and gas industry has played a significant role as a major employer in the Waveney and Lowestoft area for nearly 60 years. Moreover, the offshore wind industry and other low-carbon energy technologies, such as nuclear and hydrogen, will provide exciting local job-creating opportunities for generations to come. Dame Rosie, I also chair the British offshore oil and gas industry all-party parliamentary group.

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David Duguid Portrait David Duguid
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My hon. Friend mentioned the role of the NSTA in the facilitation and delivery of the North sea transition deal, which, as he said, was negotiated between industry and the UK Government. Does he agree that what he is advocating is precisely the purpose of the North sea transition deal—to facilitate the delivery of energy transition to net zero?

Peter Aldous Portrait Peter Aldous
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My hon. Friend is quite right: the North sea transition deal is the foundation stone on which we should be building, involving industry, involving the NSTA and giving industry the confidence to make the significant investment that we need.

The North sea transition deal includes the target to cut greenhouse gases and emissions by 10% by 2025 and by 25% by 2027. The NSTA wants to halve emissions by 2030. It is also committed to all new developments having no routine flaring and venting, with zero routine flaring across all North sea platforms, whether new or existing, by 2030 at the latest. Good progress is being made. Although figures are not yet available for 2023, emissions were reduced by 23% between 2018 and 2022, while flaring has been reduced by 50% over the same period. In addition to tracking, monitoring and reporting performance, the NSTA closely scrutinises operators’ applications for flaring consents, pushes back against requests to increase flaring, and has ordered operators to restrict production to stay within agreed limits. It has, where necessary, issued fines for breaches.

On marine spatial planning, the NSTA follows a precautionary approach and is acutely aware of the need for co-ordination and collaboration in what are increasingly crowded and sometimes very sensitive and precious waters. It is thus working closely with such organisations as the Crown Estate and the Marine Management Organisation in delivering the marine spatial prioritisation programme of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

In conclusion, the Bill and the amendments raise very important matters, but to tackle them properly, we need to adopt a long-term approach that transcends the four-to-five-year political cycle and that fully involves business.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle Portrait Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Brighton, Kemptown) (Lab/Co-op)
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I rise to support amendments 17 and 19, and to speak to my amendments 22 and 24 on energy efficiency tests and amendments 23 and 25 on the energy charter treaty.

Let me start with amendment 25. At the moment, the energy charter treaty, of which we are a member, is a failed international treaty. It binds us to any contract that we sign for oil, gas or any energy. Once it is signed, we cannot get out of it without paying the hope value of that contract. What I mean by the hope value is that a member does not pay the actual material value if it wants to stop that contract now; it has to pay all the potential value of that contract if the oilfield, for example, were fully exploited.

The treaty has cost other European countries billions and billions of pounds when they have tried to implement climate mitigation policies. It is dangerous, because the decisions are made not by British courts or by international courts with a British judge, but by secretive tribunals where the corporations get to appoint the people who make the deliberations. It is so outrageous that European Union members have agreed to withdraw en masse—they are currently negotiating on how to do so in a co-ordinated way—and to do side letters with each other to ensure they are not bound by the 25-year clause under which any extant licences that have been signed must continue to be honoured, even after withdrawal.