David Cameron is to be questioned about his broken pledge to spend £1bn developing carbon capture technology when he appears before a Commons committee. Before his appearance before the liaison committee at 4pm on Tuesday, the prime minister was accused of double standards for abandoning a commitment to hold a competition to encourage the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS), which could lead to decarbonisation of coal and gas, at the same time as professing to be serious about tackling climate change. Just a year ago, Cameron had told the same group of MPs, made up of select committee chairs, that CCS was “absolutely crucial” for the UK , before funding for a £1bn trial was later scrapped. Angus MacNeil, the chair of the energy and climate change committee, and Huw Irranca-Davies, the chair of the environmental audit committee, plan to challenge Cameron about the government’s decision, arguing it undermines the commitment to tackling climate change.
Guardian 12th Jan 2016 read more »
David Cameron has defended his government’s record on the environment and climate change, saying suggestions of backsliding are “total and utter nonsense”. The prime minister also told the liaison committee, made up of MPs who chair select committees, that the government needs to do “more of everything” to deal with the flooding that has repeatedly hit the UK in recent years. Cameron, who pledged in 2010 to lead the “greenest government ever”, has faced concerted criticism over a series of reversals to green policies, including cuts to renewable energy subsidies and energy efficiency programmes. In November, the government cancelled its £1bn competition for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, despite the project being in the Conservative party’s election manifesto. Cameron said that spending on low-carbon energy was set to double to £11bn in this parliament and that there had been an “absolute revolution in renewable energy” during his premiership, with 98% of solar energy installed since 2010. Subsidies for solar power will be slashed this week, but Cameron said: “You do have to think as prime minister that every penny you put in is a penny on energy bills.” The SNP’s Angus MacNeil, chair of the energy and climate committee, challenged this, saying onshore wind was the cheapest clean energy, but was being drastically restricted by the government. Friends of the Earth chief executive Craig Bennett said: “If dismantling a dozen green policies and putting 19,000 solar workers on notice isn’t ‘backsliding on green commitments’, I don’t know what is.”
Guardian 12th Jan 2016 read more »
Cameron was pushed by MPs on the government’s plans to roll out new gas-fired power stations and cut subsidies for the cheapest renewables, such as wind and solar power, in the wake of the Paris Agreement, which commits countries to delivering net zero emissions during the second half of the century. The Prime Minister also hinted the government may have had a change of heart over the Swansea Tidal Lagoon project, which has been in formal negotiations for funding with the Department of Energy and Climate Change since the Chancellor George Osborne floated it as a flagship green energy project in the 2015 Budget. Cameron said his enthusiasm for tidal technology is “waning”, claiming that there are no tidal projects on the table with an attractive enough strike price for investment.
Business Green 12th Jan 2016 read more »