Andrew Lansley tops the first annual Solar League Table, but all MPs must try harder says Friends of the Earth
Andrew Lansley is top of the class, Justine Greening is bottom, and the Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Davey is a disappointing 'must try harder' in a new, annual league table of MPs and solar power, Friends of the Earth can reveal today (Friday, 20 June).
The environment charity's league table ranks 32 cabinet members according to the number of solar installations in their constituency.
It comes ahead of Saturday, the longest and lightest day of the year – potentially the best day for solar panels – and as Friends of the Earth urges all MPs to get behind its new Schools Run on Sun campaign (supported by players of the People's Postcode Lottery), which aims to make it easier for schools to run on solar power.
Andrew Lansley rules the school with 3108 solar installations in Cambridgeshire South, and David Cameron earns House points in second place, with 2143 installations in Witney.
Justine Greening meanwhile ranks last with just 114 solar installations in her constituency, Putney. The Energy Secretary Ed Davey himself puts on a disappointing performance in third from last place, with just 252 installations in Kingston & Surbiton.
Friends of the Earth's Executive Director Andy Atkins said:
"Most of the cabinet should be in detention – they're lagging embarrassingly far behind Andrew Lansley when it comes to locally-installed solar power.
"While the number of solar installations varies considerably between constituencies, most cabinet members have done little to help households, schools and businesses to reap the benefits of solar power – too many are stuck on outdated forms of energy, like shale gas.
"We urgently need to roll out clean energy across all of our towns and neighbourhoods – every MP should get behind the idea of making it easier for schools to run on sun, and boost their ranking in our solar league table."
New analysis by Friends of the Earth shows that if every school in the UK ran on solar power, every year they could collectively save enough money to pay the salaries of more than 6,000 teachers, produce as much electricity as burning 100,000 tonnes of oil, and save as many carbon emissions as taking 110,000 cars off the road for a year.
The environment charity calculates that schools can each save up to £8,000 per year through solar panels – meaning more money to spend on facilities like libraries, playgrounds and nature gardens.
Volunteers from more than 50 local Friends of the Earth groups will be raising awareness on high streets tomorrow (Saturday, 21 June), highlighting the benefits of solar power for schools, and collecting signatures on the charity's petition aimed at the Education Secretary.