I have served on the Science and Technology Committee since I first came to Parliament, and its work has been fascinating and always especially pertinent to current issues. The environment, 5G, genomics and drones have all been discussed this year (amongst other things - we have sat for 37 sessions on 24 separate inquiries in the last year) and it has been a great pleasure to contribute and to help shape Government policy.
I very much look forward to our ongoing programme, but the launch yesterday of our report “Clean Growth: Technologies for Meeting Emissions Reduction Targets” was a good opportunity to take stock, to thank Sir Norman for his very effective chairmanship and to call for greater incentivisation from the Department for Transport to encourage many more of us to switch to ultra low emission vehicles. I hope they will take heed.
You can view my contribution here.
I am also a member of the Science and Technology Committee, and it has been a pleasure to serve under the right hon. Gentleman’s chairmanship for the last two years. I am proud to have served with him over that time, and I wish him all the best for the future, wherever it takes him.
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will share my concern that road vehicle emissions have either stagnated or increased somewhat. Does he agree there is a role for the Department for Transport in incentivising migration to electric cars and for making progress on the use of hydrogen propulsion for large goods vehicles on our roads today?
I totally agree. I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman’s kind comments, and I thank him for his excellent contributions to the Committee and for always being prompt and reliable. He has the prize for being the most reliable member of all.
I very much agree on the need to incentivise people to shift to ultra low emissions vehicles. In a sense, there is a personal story here, because I am due to take delivery of an electric car.
Absolutely, but I am conscious that, financially, it is beyond most people’s reach, so we have to find ways of making it affordable. By incentivising the purchase, we will start to bring down prices so that they become competitive. Alongside that, we need the charging points that provide for their day-to-day use.