Conservative government facing heavy criticism for cutting green subsidies and investment – Sky News – 13 Dec 15

 

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Sky News: The government’s energy policy has come under fire and has been described as illegal, just a day after world leaders agreed a historic plan to tackle climate change. David Cameron was among many who praised the deal made in Paris as a huge step forward in helping to secure the future of the planet, but now the Conservative government is facing heavy criticism for cutting green subsidies, and investment in green technologies.

COP21 has been described as a landmark deal, a major leap forward in cutting greenhouse gases and protecting our planet. The UK may in principal have signed up to this more sustainable way of life, but the government’s record on green issues is now under attack. With critics claiming that ministers, rather than showing commitment, have simply been cutting back…

The Climate Change Act means that the UK already has legally binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions, called carbon budgets. We are on course to hit these targets, up until 2022 but after that we are set to miss them. Reducing fossil fuels is a key priority; the government is phasing out coal power stations and shifting to low-carbon energy like wind, solar and nuclear power. Badly insulated homes are another problem, but the government has been criticised for scrapping the Green Deal, which helped people to pay for insulation and replace old boilers. And we are being encouraged to use our cars less or take more green forms of transport. But again ministers have come under attack for raising taxes on smaller cleaner cars.

Tom Burke: I think that the public has actually understood for a long time that the climate is changing, partly because they have got gardens and there are seeing changes in the gardens.

Sky News: Tom Burke previously advised the government on environmental issues…

Tom Burke: I think that the real problem for this country is a real danger of being left behind. The Chancellor has just taken a sledgehammer to the green economy in Britain. Now that was the fastest growing bit of the economy. It employs four hundred and fifty thousand people, and it was growing at 10 percent a year, and the Chancellor took a sledgehammer to it. So it’s going to mean that as the race to low-carbon goes on, we will be left behind.

Sky News: Despite recent cuts in subsidies the government insists that the UK is still leading the way…

 

 

 

 

 

About tomburke

Tom Burke is the Chairman of E3G, Third Generation Environmentalism, and an Environmental Policy Adviser (part time) to Rio Tinto plc. He is a Visiting Professor at both Imperial and University Colleges, London. He is a member of the External Review Committee of Shell and the Sustainable Sourcing Advisory Board of Unilever and a Trustee of the Black-E Community Arts Project, Liverpool.
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