On Friday, the British government released their legislation to secure investment in low-emission energy. Surprisingly to everyone, this did not include the plan of cutting down emissions by 2030, as everyone expected. The so-called “Energy Bill”” was approved by both the Conservatives’ coalition government of Prime Minister David Cameron and the Liberal Democrats.
The decision on cutting emissions by 2030 from the power sector is postponed until 2016. As expected, this move of the coalition was criticized heavily by environmental campaigners. The Minister of Finance, George Osborne stood behind his vision of continuing the gas-power energy supply, claiming that this will keep the costs low, while the Lib Dems urged for adopting more clean energy sources.
To adopt a policy for renewable energy and upgrade Britain’s energy infrastructure, economists estimated a need of investments worth £110 billion (136 billion euros, $175 billion). The government pointed out that £7.6 billion could be allocated towards securing low-carbon electricity in 2020 , however this will impact consumers’ bills.
The Labour party described the delay of the decision as a failure of the government. Green groups pointed out that this makes Britain over-reliant on gas, when the prices are increasing at their highest rates.
The energy minister, Ed Davey, however, emphasized that these decisions are true to the coalition agreement. He explains that there will be essential electricity market reforms, which will be implemented by 2014, as previously agreed and planned.
Andy Atkins, the executive director of “Friends of the Earth”, however is certain that this goes against the intentions of Cameron to lead the greenest government ever. Furthermore, he pointed out that this outdated ideology which drove the decision will drive away green jobs and will prevent the UK of reaching their climate goals.