UK climate secretary pressured to decarbonise power sector
The UK government's junior coalition partner, the party to which the country's energy and climate change secretary belongs, has passed a motion supporting the decarbonisation of the UK energy sector by 2030.
The motion will heap fresh pressure on energy secretary Ed Davey to include a decarbonisation target in the UK's forthcoming energy legislation, to which he is putting the finishing touches.
The UK government's independent climate change advisory body has called on Davey to ensure energy sector decarbonisation by including a greenhouse gas emissions limit of 50g of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour (CO2/KWh) in the new law. But the published draft bill did not contain any decarbonisation target (see EDCM 26 June September 2012).
Now Davey's own party has called on the coalition government to create "certainty and confidence among businesses to invest in renewable energy, including by establishing a target range of 50-100g CO2/KWh for the decarbonisation of the power sector by 2030".
One high-profile environmental organisation, Friends of the Earth, on Sunday called for Davey to resign if his coalition partners in the right-wing Conservative Party scupper energy sector decarbonisation.
"Delivering a carbon-free electricity system is the acid test of Ed Davey's term in office. If the Energy Bill doesn't include a legally-binding target to decarbonise the power sector by 2030, he should resign," Friends of the Earth's executive director Andy Atkins said.
"Davey must stand up to the anti-green [finance minister] and a reckless dash for gas that will scupper our climate change targets."
In 2011, the UK's energy sector emitted around 1.8bn tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e); however, it received around 1.6bn tCO2e worth of allowances free. From next year, UK power generators will not be eligible for any more free allowances. VF
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