The Energy Bill - Why we need a #vote4cleanpower
Today and tomorrow the House of Commons will be gearing up again to debate and vote on the latest version of the Energy Bill. Campaign against Climate Change is supporting the inclusion of the amendments tabled by Conservative MP Tim Yeo and Labour’s Barry Gardiner and pushing for a #vote4cleanpower and a step away from a ‘dash for gas’.
Whilst the Enegy Bill and its amendments have a small amount of cross party support it will need a final push in order to pass, which is why we need you to help apply pressure to your MP and let them know that a #Vote4CleanPower is the right thing to do. It is especially important if you happen to be represented by a Liberal Democrat MP, as even though their party overwhelmingly voted to adopt a 2030 decarbonisation target as party policy at their conference in September 2012, the party line is currently against the bill (although a select few Lib Dems are defying the whip). John Ashton CBE has said "I can't see how any MP who votes against the target will thereafter be able credibly to claim that they support an effective response to climate change".
There are currently over 200 organisations who have come out in favour of introducing a 2030 decarbonisation target, from major international companies like Sky and Microsoft to trade and member organisations such as the NFU. Even Sir Alan Sugar is backing the bill, stating that ‘this country needs jobs, and the renewable industry could help unlock our crippled manufacturing sector”. Ed Davey himself has admitted in Parliament that “the vast majority of companies do appear to support a decarbonisation target in the Bill”, yet he himself is sticking with the current party line, saying the energy bill in its current form would already lead to a “massive decarbonisation”. However, the current Government amendments do not require a decarbonisation target, only that the Secretary of State “may” set one if he so chooses. Currently the UK is sending mixed messages regarding its energy policy and because of this investment in green energy in the UK has plummeted to its lowest level in seven years. Backing the tabled amendments will help to put the UK firmly on track to becoming a world leading low-carbon economy, helping to boost employment and show genuine leadership in the fight against dangerous climate change.
Without a clean power target, George Osborne’s proposed ‘dash for gas’ could become a real possibility, the UK seeing fracking rigs, like those currently attempting to be introduced in Balcombe and in Lancashire becoming common place throughout the UK. Relying on gas would not only cost consumers in the long term, with Ofgem warning that bills could rise by 60% from 2009 to 2016 but The Committee on Climate Change has said the Chancellor’s Gas Strategy would be “incompatible” with our legally binding Climate Change Act targets.
Thousands of people have already written to their MP to ask them to #Vote4CleanPower and say no to Osborne's 'dash for gas'. We are asking you, our supporters, to help in getting this bill and its amendments passed and to apply pressure your MP now. You can use an online tool, such as these ones Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace or Stop Climate Chaos, contact them via twitter or find your MP's email address here. You can also try phoning your MP, with some tips being provided here. This vote could be vital and MPs must seize on the unique opportunity to support power sector decarbonisation and determine the shape of Britain's energy policy for decades to come.