Tag Archives: climate change

Ed Davey MP writes…Green jobs, cleaner energy, keeping the lights on and bills down

The Energy Bill returns to the House of Commons tomorrow. It’s a crucial Bill that will help deliver all of the above, but clearly one issue – the 2030 decarbonisation target for the power sector – has been the focus of much attention over the last few months. Let’s be clear, such a target wasn’t mentioned in any party’s manifesto or the Coalition Agreement, or in the draft Bill when I became Secretary of State. But because we won the argument in Government, and the Bill now provides for a target, Britain will be the first country in the world …

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Andrew George MP writes…Liberal Democrats must defend green promise

It’s crunch time for parties across the political spectrum: will parliamentarians do the right thing for our climate and the UK economy or will they let the sceptics drive investors overseas?

The Energy Bill returns to the Commons next week, just as the Conservatives are retreating to their traditional political stomping grounds in the face of competition from the right. Writing in Lib Dem Voice last month, Nick Clegg noted that: “Compassionate conservatism has been sidelined…the blue team used to claim to have gone green, yet have now publicly denounced the importance of environmental protections”. It’s up to the Liberal Democrats to …

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Ed Davey writes… Europe must stay ambitious on climate change

There has been a lot of talk over the last few weeks about Britain’s place in Europe, but there’s one thing that I hope we can all agree. We need the EU to help prevent climate change.

We are an island nation, a trading nation, dependent on the global market for prosperity – for food, for energy, for many of the products we rely on in. It is unsurprising that the UK was one of the first countries to recognise that significant climate change will directly affect our way of life. And we were the first country to bind …

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Duncan Hames MP writes… Must we continue to use food for fuel?

The European Union is currently committed to ensuring that 10% of each Member State’s transport energy will come from biofuels by 2020. This originated as a well-intentioned attempt to combat climate change, but time has shown that using food for fuel can have devastating impacts on hunger and the environment. I’ve come to accept that it is time for a re-think.

In addition to concerns over their green credentials, biofuels are now recognised to be a key cause of hunger, affecting millions of people in developing countries. The World Bank, OECD, WTO, IFPRI, IMF, and five other UN agencies recommended …

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Opinion: Time for Liberal Democrats to consider new claims about climate change

I have just finished reading what for me is the most thought provoking book I have ever read. I was totally unaware until I read The Chilling Stars by Nigel Calder and Henrik Svensmark that not only does the earth move round the sun, but that the sun moves round the Milky Way Galaxy that we live in. The discoveries of Cosmoclimatology turn the accepted theory about climate change on its head. It challenges the prevailing views about climate change held by our party and offers real scientific evidence that there are much larger drivers of climate change …

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The Independent View: Why Ed Davey should support Tim Yeo for the sake of our energy and environment’

Wind turbine - Some rights reserved by thomas vlIt feels very odd praising a Conservative MP on a Lib Dem website as a member of the Labour party, but that’s exactly what I’m doing today.

The Conservative MP Tim Yeo is taking a principled stand on the Energy Bill and plans to include a ‘decarbonisation target’ amendment as the Bill gets debated in Parliament. He says the Treasury must stop supporting gas and focus on getting a significant percentage of our all electricity from clean sources by 2030.

He told a group of energy investors (FT) in the City:

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LibLink: Ed Davey – not a single penny on energy bills that isn’t in the public interest

Ed Davey - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsIn a speech yesterday at the Fair Energy Summit 2012, Ed Davey said:

I don’t want to add a penny to energy bills that isn’t in the public interest.

I am frankly fed up with commentators suggesting that the Government is deliberately increasing energy bills, when in fact we are doing everything we can to reduce them.

 

 

 

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LibLink: Paddy Ashdown – Fighting climate change is moral, vital, and in our own interests

In the Independent, Paddy Ashdown shares his thoughts on the Doha climate change talks, currently ongoing and being attended by Lib Dem energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey.

Here’s an excerpt of what Paddy has to say:

Despite being in the midst of global recession, it is essential that governments in developed nations recognise that tackling climate change is not just a moral

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The Independent View: Liberal Democrats must not be complicit in Osborne’s dash for gas

Friends of the Earth and the Liberal Democrats have long had similar visions for our energy future: more renewables; phasing out fossil fuels; ramping up energy efficiency. In short, getting pollution and consumer bills down, while increasing energy self-sufficiency.

Everything about this vision is now at stake.

The ‘quad’ – the coalition’s decision-making grouping of Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and Alexander – are locked in negotiations with Lib Dem Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey over a 2030 ‘decarbonisation’ target in the Government’s Energy Bill legislation.

Such a target …

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Chris Davies MEP writes: A view from the North (2/3)

You can read the first instalment of Chris Davies’s View from the North here.

It will some as no surprise to members in the North West that I asked them some questions on issues relating to the environment and reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

I have led on environmental issues for the pan-European Liberal group in the Parliament since 1999, but since being re-elected in 2009 I have made sustainable reform of the CFP my biggest policy priority.

I asked whether members agreed with the majority of the world’s scientists that the climate is changing. 88% agreed and only …

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The Independent View: Will Osborne gas the Lib Dems’ green credentials?

Ed Davey’s announced this week that he’d secured an important concession from the Chancellor over wind farm subsidies – but at what cost?

Although there was understandable relief over the certainty this move gave to investors in clean British energy it seems the victory may have come with a hefty price tag: an agreement to burden our electricity system with dirty and increasingly expensive gas for decades to come – despite the enormous damage this could cause to both the economy and planet.

Ed Davey’s success in securing a 10 per cent cut in wind farm subsidies – to reflect the …

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Edward Davey MP writes: The greenest government ever – at an affordable price

The announcement I made today of the levels of support for renewable generation for the period 2013-17 will unlock generation and network capital investment worth £20-25 billion between 2013 and 2017 This is the kind of sustainable long run growth and green jobs we need to get the economy moving again. This is further evidence that pursuing green policies can bring real economic benefits. The CBI recognised this  in their report earlier this month stressing the need for a stable climate for green investment. I just wish that some of the critics of green growth policies would pay heed …

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Opinion: We can kick start the economy… and might just save the planet too

With all eyes on the elections in Greece and the future of the Eurozone, the Earth Summit in Rio is unlikely to be headline news. But it should be. As Nick Clegg wrote on LDV last week 'sustainability and growth go hand in hand, and it's for us as Liberal Democrats to make that case loud and clear.'

As Liberal Democrats we have been making the case for decades, and over the last two years Liberal Democrat Cabinet Ministers have been forceful advocates around the Cabinet table and around the world. We may know that tackling climate change is essential ...

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LDVideo: Davey on energy policies and climate change action

Lib Dem energy and climate change secretary Edward Davey was asked this week by Andrew Neil why people were being asked to pay more for their power while many were struggling. He said it was “right to pursue climate change policies” and told Andrew Neil that prices of onshore, offshore and solar renewable sources were “coming down fast”. You can watch the interview here:

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Draft Energy Bill: keeping the lights on for now, and for decades to come

Over the next decade, around a fifth of existing power plants are due to close, against a background of projected increased energy demand and increasing energy prices. We need new investment simply to keep the lights on and avoid blackouts becoming a feature of daily life. But we also need investment in electricity generation for our climate change goals. We must decarbonise Britain’s electricity generation, to meet our Carbon Budgets as we transition to a low carbon economy.

We need an estimated £110 billion investment in electricity generation and transmission this decade alone. So we need electricity market reforms to incentivise …

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Liblink: Duncan Brack on how to get green policies implemented in Government

Until recently, Duncan Brack was Chris Huhne’s Special Adviser in the Department of Energy and Climate Change. He has written for the Green Alliance blog about the challenges of putting green policies into practice. As well as insight into the practical realities of Government, he has some interesting points to make about the importance of policy making within political parties and how it might need to change in the future:

The coalition agreement hammered out by Liberal Democrat and Conservative negotiators over five days of talks in May 2010 (with details added over the following two weeks) became, at least in

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The Independent View: The major environmental tests facing the Liberal Democrats in 2012 Part 2

In my last post, I looked at the most significant environmental decisions facing the Liberal Democrats here at home in 2012. In this follow up blog, I’ll look at what Nick Clegg and his team can do on the global stage to clean up our economies and help curb the emissions driving dangerous shifts in our climate. As Nick Clegg has said, “Because we are leading by example, we can make stronger demands of the international community.”

International leadership on climate change and the green economy

Chris Huhne wrote in his resignation letter to the Deputy Prime Minister, “Climate …

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The Independent View: The major environmental tests facing the Liberal Democrats in 2012 (Part 1)

The Liberal Democrats have long been seen as the greenest of the biggest three political parties. Now in government, the party is facing tough decisions with huge implications both for our country’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and for wider protection of the natural world.

During his time in office Lib Dem Climate Secretary Chris Huhne won a couple of significant battles with Cabinet colleagues. Most notably, despite opposition from the Chancellor, he won the backing of David Cameron to put into law tough new carbon targets for the 2020s that were recommended by their independent advisers the Committee on …

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Andrew Stunell MP writes… The Building Regulations: Taking the next step towards zero carbon homes

As some of you may know from my previous postings, one of my responsibilities in Government is the Building Regulations. So far, so dull, right? On the face of it, you might be forgiven for thinking so, but the building regulations offer a number of key tools and levers to tackle the carbon emissions produced from our buildings. Yesterday, I announced a Government Consultation on the latest proposals for upgrading the building regulations, and they contain a number of key proposals to significantly improve the sustainability of our built environment.

The upgrading of the building regulations

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Opinion: If Cameron won’t attend Rio+20 then Clegg should

The Rio ‘Earth’ Summit in 1992 was the “world’s biggest ever political gathering” with 108 heads of state or government. Its successes and failures on the environment and development continue to shape those debates.

In June, Rio de Janeiro will host the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, a.k.a. Rio+20. A very early draft document suggests it will cover a wide range of topics, including access to food, water and energy; marine litter and pollution; eliminating “market distorting and environmentally harmful subsidies including those on fossil fuels, agriculture and fisheries” (I’ll believe it when I see …

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LibLink: Mark Pack – The three stories that really matters – even to Britain

Over on his work blog, the Voice’s Mark Pack has a post looking at three important stories which have been largely overshadowed by the domestic political ramifications of the prime minister’s veto.

Here’s the first issue Mark identifies:

The actual significance of the summit was the latest, most extensive and more desperate attempt to save the Euro. Judging from initial reactions by economists and the financial markets, this time a Euro summit may just have pulled it off. It has not already been written off as a failure which, compared to other summits on the same theme, already makes it more successful

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Chris Davies MEP writes… Slipping deeper into the tar sands

Last week we published Liberal Democrat minister Norman Baker’s defence of his approach to the tar sands issue. Here Chris Davies MEP explains his view…

The weak and obfuscating position on tar sands being taken by the Coalition Government is an embarrassment to every Liberal Democrat who wants to believe that having our representatives in office will advance the environmental agenda.  It may stem from nothing more than Whitehall’s traditional “Brits know better than Brussels” arrogance, but it is wrong-headed nonetheless.

The EU’s Fuel Quality Directive encourages oil producers the world over to lower the carbon intensity of their products in …

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Norman Baker responds to tar sands campaigns

Over the last week or so, visitors to the Lib Dem Voice may have seen articles purporting to outline my position, and that of the government’s, on the EU Fuel Quality Directive and the treatment of tar sands within it.  These articles have been misleading to say the least.  We in the Lib Dems have a proud history of fighting climate change and campaigning for environmental causes.  This is no different in the coalition and no different to the approach I am taking on the Directive.  I wanted to take this opportunity therefore to provide some facts which

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Revealed at last? Labour’s low carbon policy thinking

There’s one less blank sheet of paper at Labour HQ as the party gets ready to reveal how its policy review is progressing.

Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Meg Hillier is to give a keynote address to green executives and industry leaders which will “for the first time offer a detailed insight into the opposition’s low carbon policy thinking.”

Looking forward to finally hearing what Labour think, 9 months and 7 days after first appointed as Chris Huhne’s shadow!

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Chris Davies MEP writes: Conservatives and climate change – Tuesday’s revealing vote in Strasbourg

While Energy Secretary Chris Huhne is at the fore of efforts in the European Council to raise EU ambitions for reducing CO2 emissions, Conservative MEPs are refusing to back the Government’s position, and look set this week instead to demonstrate their real views about efforts to curb global warming.

At issue is a vote due to take place in Strasbourg on Tuesday that will determine the Parliament’s stance on the European Commission’s strategy to promote a low carbon economy. The result is on a knife edge.

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Chris Huhne writes… The economics of low-carbon

We Liberal Democrats need no convincing of the urgent need to tackle climate change. Indeed, that’s why there’s a Liberal Democrat minister heading the Department of Energy and Climate Change – one of the most important contributions we bring to the coalition government.

Not everyone in the UK, however, is yet so persuaded, and we also face problems in pressing the case abroad. Last summer, together with my French and German counterparts, I opened a debate in the EU over adopting a more ambitious emissions reduction target for 2020 (of 30 per cent, instead of the current 20 per cent), but …

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Huhne and Clegg launch government’s Carbon Plan

Yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne launched the Government’s Carbon Plan, setting out in draft form the steps the government will take to cut carbon emissions. The plan is now going out to consultation, with the final version due in the Autumn.

There are three priority areas in the plan for change in the way we do things: electricity generation, heating of homes and workplaces and transportation. The plan also commits the government to working for tough international agreements on tackling climate change.

Reflecting Chris Huhne’s eagerness to see environmental action as being good for the economy as well as the environment, the plan was accompanied by a scheme to train at least 1,000 Green Deal apprentices. That would both help implement environmental improvements and provide people with the skills to get jobs.

Nick Clegg said at the launch that,

Nick CleggWe want to be the greenest government ever. We will reshape the economy, change the way we power our transport, heat our homes, and generate our electricity. We must put the development of the green economy at the centre of our ambitions to rebalance the economy.

The Green Deal is about the future – and it is important we ensure that future generations have the skills they need to take advantage of the opportunities of the green economy. These apprenticeships are a perfect example of how government and business can work together towards a low carbon future.

There is a noticeable difference between the comprehensive environmental action in the climate change plan (coming from a Liberal Democrat led department) and the government’s sustainability policies (coming from the Conservative-led Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

Key proposals in the plan include:

  • Legislating to create a floor in the carbon price by April 2011
  • Awarding the contract for the first UK Carbon Capture and Storage demonstration by end of this year
  • Getting the Green Investment Bank operational by September 2012
  • Reducing central government’s emissions by 10% in twelve months to May 2011

Nick Clegg talked about the plan on a visit to B & Q, one of the firms which has been at the forefront of building environmental considerations into its work. Here’s a short video from his visit:

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Denmark backs Chris Huhne’s push for tougher emission cut targets

A quick follow up to our story about the lively debate within the European Commission over the push from Chris Huhne and others for bigger emission cut targets – Denmark has now backed Chris Huhne’s position, as The Guardian reported:

The Danish government has stepped into the fray over Europe’s climate change targets, boosting the attempts of a group of member states to opt for more ambitious emissions cuts.

Denmark on Thursday set out its own vision for energy supplies in 2050, showing how the country could meet its aim of becoming independent of coal, oil and natural gas by

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European Commissioners debate as Chris Huhne pushes for tougher environmental targets

The Guardian reports,

Europe’s climate chief insisted on Monday that tougher greenhouse gas targets would improve the EU’s economic performance, rather than push businesses overseas, as companies and green campaigners tussled over whether current emissions goals were too weak…

Her words came as a row flared between Chris Huhne, the UK’s climate change secretary, and Günther Oettinger, the EU’s energy commissioner, over whether to toughen the European climate target from a cut of 20% in emissions by 2020 to a 30% cut.

Last week, Oettinger warned: “If we go alone to 30%, you will only have a faster process of de-industrialisation in

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Opinion: Climate change – what can you and I do and the Government won’t?

Now that the UK’s 1400 top scientists have spoken (“Climate Change, A summary of the science” from the Royal Society), there’s no longer any doubt that human activity is a significant cause of the steady warming of the planet over the last hundred years. So, unless we change our habits, we face an increasingly unstable climate, with rising sea levels and worsening floods and droughts leading to major disruption to food production. With the predicted rise in world population from six to ten billion by 2050, it is clear that humanity is in serious trouble.

So …

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  • User AvatarMartin 26th Nov - 12:26pm
    Clegg's suggestions are quite limited. ATF explains that the media has skewed Clegg's comments to seem to be in the opposite direction of his argument,...
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    It seems very easy to write something in a way that gets it placed in a queue to looked at by someone rather than appearing...
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    Caron, it appears to be a sad fact of life that in order to get the truth across to the popoulation at large - that...
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    @Tsar Nicolas I take your comment to mean that your are an ex-Party member, but one to whom current Party members (allegedly) say things that...
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    I think we can be fairly certain that Lib Dem voters will behave differently this time, with a greater proportion of the "don't know"s settling...
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    If your Party, or any other Party is managed with transparency, and has a strong leadership You can have transparency or you can have strong...