The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has been scrapped and its brief folded into the newly created Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department. The formation of BEIS, which was announced yesterday following Theresa May’s appointment as the new British Prime Minister, adds energy-related matters to the remit of its predecessor the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
World Nuclear News 15th July 2016 read more »
The abolition of the Department of Energy and Climate Change has been condemned by former ministers as a major setback to British efforts to combat global warming. Decc was closed in a series of sweeping changes to the government unveiled by the new prime minister, Theresa May, on Thursday. Its functions, which include representing the UK at international climate talks, responsibility for meeting carbon targets and levying subsidies for green energy, have been transferred to a beefed-up business department led by Greg Clark. But Ed Davey, who served as Liberal Democrat secretary of state at Decc between 2012 and 2015, criticised the decision. “This is a major setback for the UK’s climate change efforts. Greg Clark may be nice and he may even be green, but by downgrading the Whitehall status of climate change, Theresa May has hit low carbon investor confidence yet again,” he told the Guardian. His view was echoed by Ed Miliband, the department’s first secretary of state when it was created in 2008 by Labour, who tweeted that the move was: “Plain stupid. Climate not even mentioned in new dept title. Matters because depts shape priorities, shape outcomes.”
Guardian 15th July 2016 read more »
It was bad enough when David Cameron told his officials to cut the ‘green crap’ but his successor just sent out a massive signal she’s not remotely bothered about global warming. Fear of a Brexit apocalypse seems to have prompted May to sacrifice the fight against climate change in the hope of avoiding a recession that would almost certainly see her removed from office – by her own side, if not Labour. But, make no mistake, this could be a historic blunder of global proportions.
Independent 15th July 2016 read more »
This is not Clark’s first brush with the climate change brief. Between 2008 and 2010, while the Conservatives were in opposition, he was shadow secretary for energy and climate change. In this time, he made his views clear on climate change. Here are some quotes that might give us some idea of what to expect from him in the future.
Carbon Brief 14th July 2016 read more »
Despair would have been deep if the wrong person had been appointed to set the direction of the new Department. But Greg Clark’s record on energy and climate (as documented in this useful account by CarbonBrief) is good. Like all politicians, he will need to pick his fights; the Carbon Plan to be launched in the Autumn will be the first test of his mettle round the Cabinet table. Losing ‘climate’ from the Department’s title is a symbolic downgrading. Names matter to other politicians, whose status antennae are finely tuned. And they matter to stakeholders, like the renewables and cleantech sectors, who are already feeling bruised, and will now worry that they don’t have a champion in government. But names might not matter quite so much if other things work out:
Rebecca Willis 15th July 2016 read more »