UK Parliamentary committee urge Chancellor to back energy policy

Posted at November 20, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK Parliamentary committee urge Chancellor to back energy policy

The influential Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is urging the UK Chancellor George Osborne to “restore investor confidence” in the government’s energy policy with a clear decarbonisation target.

Joining the growing chorus of calls for a 2030 decarbonisation goal for the power sector in the forthcoming Energy Bill, Committee chair Joan Walley MP says:

“The government needs to reassure investors by setting a clear target in the Energy Bill to clean up the power sector by 2030. A second ‘dash for gas’ could lock the UK into a high-carbon energy system that leaves us vulnerable to rising gas prices.”

The Committee wants the Treasury to explain how new incentives for gas-powered energy generation can be compatible with the UK’s legally binding carbon reduction targets.

Walley also alludes to the much-reported rift between the Treasury and the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

“The Treasury must end the uncertainty on energy policy and give investors and businesses the confidence to seize the enormous opportunities presented by new clean technologies,” she adds.

The report from the Committee says that the forthcoming Autumn Statement, which sets the tone of economic policy for the immediate future, would be ideal moment to clarify the government’s position.

Like business lobby group, the CBI, the Committee is concerned that the government’s “mixed messages” on energy policy could lose the UK millions of pounds in green investment, as global competition in clean technologies intensifies.

The Committee is also calling on the Treasury to identify ways it could support the recently published Energy Efficiency Strategy, like introducing feed-in tariff for demand reduction, reduced VAT for energy efficient boilers and windows, and Council Tax rebates on efficient homes.

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Related stories:
UK business leaders echo call for 2030 power sector decarbonisation (14-Nov)
UK government to transform energy use with efficiency strategy (13-Nov)
UK’s industrial strategy should play to strength in green tech, says CBI (8-Nov)
Renewable, nuclear and CCS industries unite to call for UK decarbonisation target (5-Nov)

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