Tag Archives: ed davey

Carmichael and Davey blast Tories’ withdrawal of subsidies for onshore wind

A few wind turbinesWe know that during the coalition years the Liberal Democrats ensured subsidies for onshore wind. The Guardian managed to give precisely 2 and a  bit lines at the bottom of their report to Ed Davey. He was the Energy and Climate Change Secretary who fought tooth and nail to protect renewables, but there’s no mention of that. Ed is quoted as saying:

Anti-wind power Tories will put up electricity bills, cut green jobs and reduce investment.

Alistair Carmichael also took the Tories to task for what he called a “lamentable sop to the Tory right.”

This is full-throttle Tory energy policy.

Their decision to end the renewables obligation for onshore wind is a backwards step for the UK’s energy mix.

It is a lamentable sop to the Tory right-wing who would sooner have us concede the battle on climate change than commit properly to renewables. This blinkered and outdated view of the world is bad news for the environment, but it is also bad news for jobs and investment.

In coalition government Liberal Democrats blocked these madcap Tory ideas. In opposition, we will lead the campaign against them.

 

photo by: vaxomatic
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Ed Davey critical of climate change targets

On Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday, Ed Davey was highly critical of the G7’s pledge to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century.

He said:

It is so symbolic for the G7, the largest, richest countries in the world who have built their economies on fossil fuels, to say they’ve got to get rid of them. It’s definitely historic and symbolic.

But I have two concerns though. They are talking about the end of the century, and I don’t think climate science says we have got that long. I think we have to move further and faster.

And I also worry that if you set targets that are so long – 85 years away – I’m not sure how meaningful they are. I think it would give some countries an excuse for inaction, when they’ve got to be acting now, in this current decade.

At the end of this year we’ve got the very important Climate Change Summit in Paris. I hope we are not going to end up at that summit talking about targets at the end of the century. We need to be talking about targets at the end of the next decade.

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What’s happening on P-31, Monday 6th April?

battle-bus

As any activist knows, Bank Holiday Mondays during an election campaign are not given to us for fun days out but for extra deliveries and canvassing. In most years, though not all, we get the use of the Easter Bank Holiday Monday as well as the May Bank Holiday during the short campaign.

The big yellow battlebus, with Nick Clegg and media on board, continues its journey around the target seats. This morning it will be stopping in Surbiton, home of Ed Davey and his team (including me). There’s a large local party, a …

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Ed Davey: It would be incredibly difficult to work with the Tories due to their views on the EU and green issues

The Observer reports

The Liberal Democrat energy secretary, Ed Davey, has hinted strongly that he would oppose a second coalition with the Tories because their policy on Europe amounts to “economic and environmental irresponsibility of the highest order”.

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Victory for Lib Dems with announcement of world’s first tidal lagoon

The Chancellor has just announced that he will be opening formal negotiations which could lead to an investment of £1 billion in a world-first scheme to extract energy from tidal power.

Ed Davey has been working on this project for several years, so it is a great victory for Liberal Democrats in government, on the back of our other achievements on renewable energy. The UK is already the world leader on offshore wind, thanks to the Lib Dems.

The first tidal lagoon will be planned for Swansea Bay, as predicted in the Guardian this morning.

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LibLink … Ed Davey: Britain must signal the beginning of the end for coal investment

Ed Davey Social Liberal Forum conference Jul 19 2014 Photo by Paul WalterEd Davey writes in the Guardian:

For over 200 years, modern civilisation has been built on fossil fuels; now climate science says we must phase out fossil fuel pollution in just a few decades. That’s a colossal challenge – especially if we are to keep anything resembling current lifestyles while also ending the poverty that blights the lives of more than 1 billion fellow human beings.

We are already seeing a significant shift in thinking. The Rockefeller Foundation is divesting from coal and tar sands. Oxford University is considering similar action. And the Bank of England is analysing the impact on financial systems of fossil fuel investments becoming “stranded assets” – in other words worthless – if the world gets its act together on climate change.

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Davey and Cable defend free speech at universities from Tory attack

Vince Cable Social Liberal Forum conference Jul 19 2014 Photo by Paul WalterWe know that during the passage of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, Liberal Democrat peers Sal Brinton and Margaret Sharp tried to amend the bill to strengthen the duty on universities to preserve freedom of speech. Senior Tories couldn’t see why that was so important, sadly.

The Observer reports that Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers, especially Vince Cable, disagree about the planned guidance to be issued to universities about what they can and can’t allow on campus.

In the Sunday

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Independent on Sunday praises Nick Clegg and Ed Davey for “keeping the low carbon show on the road”

Davey Windmills - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsAn Independent on Sunday editorial today acknowledges the contribution made by the Liberal Democrats to furthering the green agenda while in government. They give Nick Clegg and Ed Davey the credit for driving it forward in the face of opposition from our coalition partners, who come in for some criticism:

The IoS has been disappointed with the Conservatives’ record on the environment. We were prepared to give David Cameron the benefit of the doubt when he put a windmill on his roof and when he proclaimed his intention that the coalition would be the greenest government ever, but if Mr Davey is now able to make that qualified claim, it is despite Mr Cameron, not because of him.

The turning point was George Osborne’s “slowest ship in the convoy” speech to the Tory party conference in 2011, when he said Britain would go along with EU plans for green energy but would not be a leader.

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Davey: Stop short-termist meddling in the energy markets

The FT reports comments by Lib Dem energy secretary Ed Davey aimed in part at George Osborne over recent interventions by the chancellor into the energy market:

George Osborne has been accused by a cabinet colleague of damaging the energy sector after the chancellor threatened “action” against companies which failed to pass on falling oil prices to consumers.

Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy secretary, said he did not know exactly what Mr Osborne was proposing and that such criticism of energy companies by politicians would “damage markets, investment and our economy”.

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Davey: We need to look at rules on transparency of fossil fuel investments

The Financial Times reports:

Britain’s energy secretary has called for tougher rules to be applied to companies holding “risky” fossil fuel assets that could plunge in value because of global action to tackle climate change.
Ed Davey’s move makes him one of the first senior politicians to weigh into a growing debate on the future of oil, gas and coal companies as governments work on sealing a global climate deal in Paris next year.

“We’re seeing a move from a carbon economy to a climate economy,” Mr Davey told reporters on the sidelines of UN talks in Lima shaping the Paris agreement.

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Ed Davey: Onshore windfarm opposition risks UK jobs

Wind turbine - Some rights reserved by thomas vlThe Guardian reports:

Energy secretary Ed Davey has warned that the Conservative party’s opposition to onshore wind turbines risks undermining the creation of British jobs as new data showed 15,400 people are now employed in the wind power industry.

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Ed Davey MP writes…Signed, sealed and delivered, an ambitious climate change deal for Europe

Wind turbine - Some rights reserved by thomas vlWe’ve done it!  For Liberal Democrats in government, this EU climate deal is our most significant green win so far.  While Liberal Democrats are passionate about tackling climate change, the likes of Owen Paterson and UKIP seem to delight in talking down the threat that it poses, but that should make us even more determined to tell people why this deal is so crucial.

What have we achieved?  An ambitious Europe-wide climate change deal that will see greenhouse gases cut by at least 40% by 2030.  Other countries wanted a lower target, but I argued that the science demanded higher. And I was determined that if in next year’s UN climate talks other countries like the US and China show similar ambition, Europe should be ready to increase its efforts still further – so the words “at least” in the deal are more important than normal.

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Ed Davey MP writes…Tackling climate change

Flooding in Cedar Rapids, IAI’m writing from the Climate Change Summit in New York, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. While Liberal Democrats don’t need reminding just how much of a threat climate change is – from the increased risks of flooding, to the impact on the world’s poorest – I thought it timely to give you an update on the progress we’ve made and what comes next.

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Ed Davey: Non-nuclear energy approach is “negligent” and “risky” #slfconf

Ed Davey - photo by Paul WalterOn Monday, I summarised the appearances of Ed Davey at last weekend’s Social Liberal Forum conference in London. Here, I outline some of the views expressed and initiatives described by Ed on the day, including during a bloggers’ interview:

Using less energy

Fuel poverty is a serious issue. Energy inefficient building stock is a key cause.

The Green deal, Ed said, had not originally gone as well as it had been hoped. In Phase 1, there were just 250,000 assessments. Phase 2 is going better, and is on track to improve two million homes.

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Our Climate Change bulldog #slfconf

Ed Davey Social Liberal Forum conference Jul 19 2014 Photo by Paul Walter
WARNING: Contains strong hagiographic content, which some readers may find disturbing.

On Saturday, while much of the country was enjoying the sunshine, I spent two hours studying and listening to The Right Honourable Edward Davey MP FRSA.

In the wonderful surroundings of the new headquarters of Amnesty International, Ed addressed the Social Liberal Forum conference on “Energy and climate change – the balance between state and market”. He was then interviewed by four bloggers: Jonathan Calder, Matthew Hulbert,

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SLF Conference 2014 – Governing as Liberal Democrats

Social Liberal ForumThe Social Liberal Forum have organised their next conference to take place in London on this Saturday  19th July. You can register via the website. We have an excellent line up of speakers and all Liberal Democrats of various shades of opinion are very welcome to attend, and for that matter anyone outside the party who is interested in the Liberal Democrats.

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Lessons must be learned from the Jo Swinson speculation

jo swinson by paul walterOn Thursday, George Eaton of the New Statesman blogged that Jo Swinson was about to replace Ed Davey in the forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

Today, the Guardian’s Nick Watt says that this is not the case and Jo is expected to become Secretary of State for Scotland in September after the independence referendum.

Nick Clegg, acutely conscious that the five Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers are all men, is expected to promote the business minister Jo Swinson to the cabinet. But she is expected to succeed Alistair Carmichael as Scotland secretary after September’s independence referendum in September if, as expected, the pro-Union side prevails. Carmichael would be praised for his role in the victory as Swinson took charge on introducing greater devolution to the Scottish parliament.

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Edward Davey MP writes… A better deal for people on ‘pre-payment’ energy meters

Electric Meter on the Back of the HouseLiberal Democrats in Government are doing everything possible to help consumers with their energy bills.  Just last week I announced that by the end of the year energy suppliers will halve the time it takes to switch energy supplier from the current five to two and a half weeks.  This is just the first step to achieving my ambition of achieving 24 hour switching.

But there is more that can be done, and I have written to energy suppliers asking them to now focus on …

photo by: MRBECK
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Opinion: European Commission is right to demand Ed Davey and the Coalition re-thinks on nuclear power

Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant - Some rights reserved by John O DyerIn October 2013, Lib Dem energy secretary Ed Davey set out his arguments for reversing his long-held antipathy to nuclear power. On behalf of the Coalition, he is applying to the European Commission to ensure that the measures he is promoting – to ensure construction of the first new nuclear power station in the UK for a generation – are compatible with the Single Market.

But now the Competition Directorate of the European Commission has sent a 70-page rebuttal to the UK Government, completely rejecting its arguments for subsidising the building of the Hinckley B nuclear power station in Somerset.

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Ed Davey makes QR codes compulsory on energy bills

ed-davey-post-officeAccording to the BBC: Energy bills to come with compulsory QR barcodes. This is one of Ed Davey’s initiatives as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. He explains:

The government hopes its plans will encourage the development of smartphone apps that let consumers swipe their phone over an energy bill to read data such as tariff and consumption.

The data could then be automatically uploaded to price comparison sites, to let consumers look at deals from other energy suppliers.

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Après Nick: which Lib Dem MPs are best-placed to become the next Lib Dem leader?

Today’s Independent has an interesting story speculating on the Lib Dem leadership contest to come if the 2015 election result triggers Nick Clegg’s resignation. It’s one of the features of this parliament – perhaps linked to it being a fixed-term in which we know the dates are all known – that there hasn’t been nearly as much gossip about future leadership bids in any of the three main parties.

Anyway, the Indy story seeks to make up a little for that absence: Nick Clegg’s rivals for the Lib Dems leadership told to rev up. The premise of the article …

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Ed Davey’s speech to the IPPR on climate change

Here’s how the Guardian previewed Ed Davey’s speech this afternoon to the Institute for Public Policy Research:

Britain’s climate change policy is under threat from a “diabolical cocktail” of nimbyism, denial of science and fear of Europe from politicians on the right, the energy secretary will say on Thursday.

Amid growing warnings about a potential link between global warming and extreme UK weather, Ed Davey will raise concerns that the politicial consensus about the need to tackle climate change is in danger of breaking down as some in the Conservative and Ukip parties try to discredit the science.

He will say that the actions of climate deniers are “undermining public trust in the scientific evidence for climate change” and that “we can see around us today the possible consequences of a world in which extreme weather events are much more likely”.

In his speech at the IPPR thinktank on Thursday, Davey will criticise those who seize on “any anomaly in the climate data to attempt to discredit the whole”.

Taking aim at “climate change denying Conservatism”, which he calls wilfully ignorant, he warns that it could create a diabolical cocktail that threatens the whole long-term structure of UK climate change and energy policy.

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Ed Davey MP writes…£2m for low carbon heat networks

Ed Davey meets Paul Burstow and Sutton Councillors at Heat network funding...Today I visited Lib Dem controlled Sutton to announce £2 million of DECC funding for developing low carbon local heat networks. The money will go to 26 local authorities – including Sutton – to develop their own local projects.

By 2030 around 14% of UK heat demand could be met by these networks and around 43% by 2050. While it is up to each local authority to develop their own projects, the idea is that networks source heat from a central source – for example landfill – and then deliver it through insulated pipes to offices, apartments and social housing.

This will provide low carbon heating, and potentially bring down energy bills too.

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Edward Davey MP writes: Liberal Democrats continue to oppose Heathrow expansion

The Davies Commission’s interim report published yesterday has elicited many column inches in the newspapers but little clarity from the other two major parties as to the basis on which they will judge the final report.

In contrast, Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats made our approach to the Davies Commission clear yesterday. We will not endorse an expansion in airport capacity which would increase noise pollution for the hundreds of thousands of residents living beneath the flight path or break the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations on aviation. Of course we will look at what the final …

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Ed Davey: Energy customers are not just cash cows

Ed Davey - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsEd Davey’s speech to Energy UK today has been well trailed in the media. The headline features a much quoted soundbite: “Customers are not just cash cows to be squeezed in the pursuit of a higher return for shareholders”.

It was one of those occasions when the whole discussion took place ahead of the actual event, with Energy UK (which represents the energy industry) posting a ripost before the speech had been delivered.

Here is an extract from Ed’s speech:

We need our energy companies

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Ed Davey forms European green alliance to help Cameron win global race

You might not think that the Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey was key to Prime Minister’s David Cameron’s plans to “win the global race”, but you’d be wrong.

Davey is a key proponent of the need to work with allies in Europe to drive through EU reforms that benefit Britain in the world, something we feel strongly about at British Influence.

While a Minister at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, he set up the Like-minded Group of EU ministers, to drive economic growth in the EU and cut back on

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Ed Davey nails Labour’s energy price freeze: “Prices go up, small, independent competitors go out of business, the big six is created again. Well done, Mr Miliband!”

Here’s Lib Dem energy secretary Ed Davey highlighting one of the many flaws in Ed Miliband’s promise to freeze energy prices in today’s Guardian interview:

ed davey energy prices

(Hat-tip: John Rentoul in The Independent: Quotation of the Day.)

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Alistair Carmichael MP writes…how the Lib Dems in government worked together for Grangemouth

Three weeks ago when I was appointed as Secretary of State for Scotland many journalists and commentators (and even a few posters on Lib Dem Voice!) forecast a period of strife ahead as the “bruiser” from the Whips’ Office took over at Dover House.

I am not expecting anyone to say they were wrong but I hope that maybe some of them are feeling just a little sheepish this weekend.

The threat to the future of the petro-chemical plant at Grangemouth was one of the most serious to face Scotland for several years. It also produced a degree of political unity and …

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Grangemouth: a summary of Liberal Democrat reaction

It’s a grim day in Central Scotland as 800 people face losing their jobs at Grangemouth. It’s impossible to overestimate the effect that Ineos’s decision to close the petrochemical plant, which shares the site with Scotland’s only refinery, will have on the Scottish economy.

There are still some hopes that Ineos can be persuaded to reverse their decision, which was based on the Unite trade union’s rejection of changes to terms and conditions of employment. A further meeting takes place this morning. Unite are reported to have offered major concessions. Logic would dictate that if they’ve been offered what they want, Ineos should keep the plant open. We will have to wait and see.

If Ineos don’t change their minds, efforts will shift to finding a new buyer for the site

It’s been good to see Scotland’s two governments working together very collaboratively, broadly saying the same sorts of things. In the UK government, three Liberal Democrats share responsibility for this: Ed Davey, Alistair Carmichael and Vince Cable. Here’s what they and others have been saying:

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Ed Davey writes… Keeping down household energy bills

House of Commons at NightYesterday, I outlined why Labour’s energy policies would be bad for consumers, bad for tackling climate change and risk the lights going out.

However misguided Ed Miliband’s energy policies are there is no doubt that he was seeking to respond to the fact that many consumers are feeling the pinch through rising energy bills. The recent price increases by SSE and British Gas will hit consumers hard and I am afraid there will be more to come.

So what is our response?

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