The Liberal Democrats have the opportunity tomorrow to put the UK on a
path to cleaner energy, and save the UK economy £45 billion in the process (1),
says Greenpeace ahead of the Energy Bill vote.
“The Lib Dems must ensure that come the next election, the Energy Bill
is something they can be proud of, rather than an additional thing they must
defend on the doorstep,” said Greenpeace Political Director Doug Parr.
“For the sake of households struggling with gas bills, and for the sake
of the climate, they must not allow clean energy to be another concession to
the Tory right.”
The Bill will be debated and voted on tomorrow. Missing from it is a
target to decarbonise the UK’s electricity sector by 2030 – a target investor
groups, trade bodies, and hundreds of businesses say is necessary to give certainty
to low carbon investors (2) and which Government advisors say the UK needs to
meet its climate targets (3).
Today, over 50 companies, charities and trade associations including
Cisco, PZ Cussons and Unison have reissued their call for MPs to back the
target (4). Meanwhile businessman Lord Alan Sugar has spoken out saying that
without the target the Bill is “aimless” (5).
Tory MP Tim Yeo has tabled an amendment that would see the target
included in the Bill, but despite it being Lib Dem policy, the party’s MPs have
been whipped to vote against the amendment by their leadership.George Osborne
fought to keep the target out of the bill in order to push ahead with his dash
“Without the target, there is no certainty for the low carbon sector, a
sector that provided over a third of the UK’s economic growth in 2011/2012,”
said Doug Parr. “Without the target, the Energy Bill leaves the door open for
dirty coal and gas power stations to stay on line for decades, which will blow the
UK’s carbon budgets.
“This is a key opportunity for the Lib Dems to push for a win for
business and the economy and to differentiate themselves from their
coalition partners. If they don’t, the UK could end up locked into a
high-carbon, gas-dependent energy system that fatally undermines the Climate
Change Act. Voters who care about the environment –which is nearly all
potential Lib Dem voters – may never forgive them.
“The Lib Dems campaigned hard on the environment before the last
election. As Lib Dem MP Andrew George said last week, “To not support 2030
decarb would be a disservice to our Party’s core principles and one of the key
reasons we came into Government” (6)
For more information, contact Kathy Cumming on 07801212959