New documents that have been leaked reveal that the British government has been trying its best to dilute the potency of new European renewable energy and carbon emission targets, despite professing to be “the greenest government ever.”
In a move backed by the UK’s six biggest energy firms, British officials have been constantly trying to prevent the approval of new EU rules on energy efficiency, and try to alter them to make them voluntary rather than mandatory; they have also repeatedly blocked EU efforts to adopt new renewable energy targets.
This news is at odds with the common position that the government are trying to push within the UK; that they are in favour or renewable energy, and have actually proposed a green energy bill which they believe could generate £110bn in investment in low-carbon and efficient energy infrastructure, in a move that they call the biggest shakeup of the market since privatisation in the 1980s.
A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change explained that “the UK has been taking a lead role in trying to get agreement on the energy efficiency directive. We want it to be ambitious but it needs to be something that will be deliverable here in the UK and across the rest of the EU.” The word ‘deliverable’ isn’t very inspiring, the targets should be something that stretches the government s, something they must work hard to achieve by making significant changes, not something that can be quite easily accomplished.
In one attempt by the EU to draft a renewable energy target for 2050, the UK attempted to alter the wording to a far vaguer target of “a significantly increased share for renewables in the energy mix.” They are also trying to block legislation that would make efficiency audits mandatory, a necessity according to the EU in order to ensure that targets are being met.
Joss Garman, a senior energy campaigner at Greenpeace, said that “these documents are proof that (Ed) Davey has caved in to fossil fuel industry lobbyists fighting to increase our dependence on burning imported and polluting gas to generate power.”
“With rocketing gas prices hitting families' energy bills and the wider economy, now is exactly the time ministers should be backing clean energy to provide secure power at stable prices. This is a government that has a too cosy relationship with powerful special interests – and Britain's bill payers will pick up the tab.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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