David Cameron?s statement of having ?The Greenest government ever? did not prove credible yesterday when the decarbonisation target was postponed.
The bid to include a decarbonisation target in the UK by 2030 was narrowly voted down yesterday, with 290 votes to 267. The amendment to The Energy Bill proposed by former Tory Tim Yeo was unsuccessful, but only marginally. The government may be left with a tough fight on their hands, following the support of the amendment.
The aims of the Decarbonisation proposal are, to set a legal target for electricity producers to reduce to almost zero their carbon emissions by 2030. Although there has been discussion surrounding the complexity of the target, to simplify; under the amendment, electricity generators would have had to use more carbon capture, renewables and storage and nuclear power to decrease to nearly zero their carbon production by 2030.
Tim Yeo states ?failure to introduce a clean energy target now could make it harder for the UK to meet its long-term carbon reduction targets??
David Cameron states how he agrees that we need to reduce our carbon emissions, but backs Energy Secretary, Ed Davey who wants the target to be set to 2016 rather than January. But, The Energy Bill does not require the government to introduce such a target in 2016; it simply bans it from introducing a target before 2016.
Tim Yeo believes this is a big mistake by David Cameron, stating ?failure to introduce a clean energy target now could make it harder for the UK to meet its long-term carbon reduction targets, forcing future governments to take more costly action to curb emissions later when the impacts of a changing climate become more acute.?
?The Greenest government ever??
My thoughts are, the government are going further away from the promise of having ?The Greenest government ever.? It seems to me, there is a lot of talking and not a lot of implementing the ideas, they so passionately discuss. But either way, it is not going to kill off the clean energy supporters. Andy Atkins, Friends of the Earth?s executive director, states how ?the Liberal Democrat leadership?s green credibility has been left in tatters.?
However, it is not just environmentalists and green energy firms who support the notion of setting a target but so do Marks & Spencers, Phillips, BT and many more of the country?s biggest companies. It is clear The LibDem?s know they have a fight on their hands, with many who support this target including some of their own and that moving to a ?dash for gas? is not going to solve all their problems. Andy Atkins comments: ?this would send fuel bills rocketing and jobs overseas, and punch a gaping hole in our climate targets.? So it is evident, the target is unlikely to disappear in a hurry.
Meanwhile, many of the discussions that reinforced the debate surrounding the decarbonisation target also include the need for greater policy for the green economy between 2020 to 2030 period. This will all be reviewed next year when the government undertakes its controversial review of the post 2020 carbon budget. But with the growing support, not just from environmental and green energy firms but from large corporations and a sizeable section of the government, society seems to be moving more towards creating a greener sustainable country now rather than later.