The Liberal Democrats have been defending their green credentials in the UK Coalition Government this week, with Energy Secretary Ed Davey backing a binding decarbonisation target for the power sector.
Speaking in a keynote address to the Lib Dems annual conference in Brighton on Sunday, Davey said he wanted to see a decarbonisation target for electricity sector in the government’s forthcoming flagship Energy Bill.
Davey said there was a “strong case” for setting a carbon emissions limit for the UK’s energy grid in 2030.
But he warned that a “Tea Party tendency” in the Conservative Party could put at risk billions of pounds of low-carbon investment, jeopardising green growth in the UK.
Davey’s comments were echoed by opposition leader Ed Miliband writing in Inside Track, the journal of the think tank, the Green Alliance.
“To attract the investment we need, governments must cover that risk and commit to a clear goal of decarbonising the power sector by 2030, as the independent Committee on Climate Change has recommended,” he writes. “This is the time to stand proud and declare that we want to lead the world in the low carbon, resource efficient technologies of the future.”
The stance has been welcomed by environmental groups, but Friends of the Earth’s executive director Andy Atkins cautioned:
“The key test for the Liberal Democrats is whether they will stand up to the anti-green Chancellor in both the Cabinet and Parliament and insist on a legally-binding target in the Energy Bill to decarbonise the power sector by 2030.”
But if Davey doesn’t succeed in getting a legally binding target to decarbonise the power sector into the Energy Bill, he should resign, says Atkins.
“Warm words are not enough - Davey must stand up to the anti-green Chancellor and a reckless dash for gas that will scupper our climate change targets and lock the economy into spiralling fuel bills for generations to come,” he adds.
For further information:
Climate Change Committee condemns UK government’s ‘dash for gas’ (14-Sept)
UK Energy Secretary defends Energy Bill against “myths” (12-Sept)
New UK Energy Minister promises to bring Energy Bill into law (6-Sept)
UK cabinet reshuffle casts doubt on “greenest government” pledge (5-Sept)
26 September 2012