Prime Minister, David Cameron, has criticised the government’s approach to low carbon ‘green’ energy policies the day before he appears before the House of Commons Liaison Committee. Two committee chairs point to the curtailing of schemes expected to help the UK reduce its emissions whilst promising at an international level to protect the environment.
A key concern is the scrapping of the much praised £1bn carbon capture and storage (CCS) competition. CCS has been described as the ‘Holy Grail’ for the fossil fuel energy sector whilst Mr Cameron is credited with previously saying CCS is “absolutely crucial” for the UK. Angus MacNeil, chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, has described the decision to stop the competition as incomprehensible.
However, during his attendance at the Liaison Committee, Mr Cameron gave a strong defence of his and the government’s approach to climate change and investment in low emission energy infrastructure saying: “…98% of the solar panels installed in Britain have been installed since I became Prime Minister. If you want to know what is going to happen to the cost of solar in this Parliament, our investment is going to be double what it was in the last Parliament. Whether you look at the fact that we are reinvesting in our nuclear programme, or at the fact that we are the first developed country to say that we are going to phase out coal-fired power stations, on any reasonable assessment you would say that Britain is more than fulfilling its green commitments. That is why, in the last year, UK greenhouse gases fell by 15%.”