The Government’s refusal to include a power sector decarbonisation target in the Energy Bill will be challenged in the House of Lords today (Monday 28 October 2013).
An amendment to put a clean power target in the Energy Bill – tabled by former Shell chairman, Lord Oxburgh, and former World Bank chief economist Lord Stern – is expected to attract widespread support from peers.
Major investors, including Hermes, Aviva and Schroders, wrote to the Chancellor last month demanding a decarbonisation target be inserted into the Energy Bill. They argue this would give investment certainty to power and manufacturing companies who want to develop the UK’s renewable energy potential.
Decarbonising the UK’s power sector would also free the UK from the tyranny of soaring gas prices – the main cause of rocketing household energy bills.
Earlier this year the Committee on Climate Change said “there are significant economic benefits from investing in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies through the 2020s rather than investing in gas-fired generation… Investment in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies could save consumers £25-45 billion, rising to £100 billion with higher gas and carbon prices.”
The Liberal Democrats and Labour both made support of a decarbonisation target party policy in 2012.
Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director, Andy Atkins said:
“The Prime Minister’s cynical attack on the environment in the face of energy company profiteering is adding to the uncertainty that is costing Britain jobs.
“Businesses have been waiting for two years for the go ahead to invest in clean power. Today Peers can help end this farce and secure thousands of new jobs by backing a long term clean power target.
“All eyes will be in on the Liberal Democrats to see whether they keep their promise to support the measure.”