Copenhagen Climate Change Conference debate

Charles Walker asks how our ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions can be compatible with a forecast increase in population of 10 million in the same time period?

Mr. Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con): We have set some ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions—I think it is 80 per cent.—by 2050. How is that compatible with increasing the population in the same period by more than 10 million? The Home Secretary said that he was relaxed about this country’s population increasing by 10 million, but that will increase the size of our carbon footprint.

Edward Miliband
: It all depends on the actions that we take. Globally, there will be a significant increase in the population in the next decades. That argues for a transition to the low-carbon path and away from the high-carbon path. We must do that, whatever the size of the population, but obviously increasing population means increasing carbon emissions and we need to take action. I am confident that we can; that is within our projections.

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