Letter on the Energy Bill to the South Wales Echo and Western Mail

June 10, 2013 11:50 AM
In http://www.walesonline.co.uk/incoming/comment--debatewestern-mail-letters-4283691

At the Which? energy advice surgery in Cardiff

SIR - This week MPs at Westminster voted on the Energy Bill. I received literally hundreds of emails, letters and phone calls from constituents asking me to support an amendment to set a 2030 decarbonisation target in 2014.

I completely understand their concerns as I also want to see the UK make rapid progress towards cleaner energy. But there is a real danger that people are overlooking the really radical changes the Bill introduces by focusing solely on this one issue.

The fact is that energy policy is a package. Liberal Democrats in government have had to fight long and hard to get the Conservatives even to agree to an Energy Bill.

It is because of the work of the Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey that there will now be a trebling of support for cleaner, low carbon electricity by 2020 and steps to reduce electricity use.

Critics also ignore that the Bill does include a power to set a target to reduce carbon by 2030 - I appreciate that it is to set the target in 2016, two years later than campaigners wanted, but coalition intrinsically requires compromise and personally I feel that a two-year delay is worth it to achieve a massive investment in renewables and other forms of low-carbon energy.

The noted green campaigner and commentator Tom Burke summed up the result of the energy agreement in The Guardian: "Liberal Democrats 4, Conservatives 0".

Most Tories are not keen on subsidies for renewable energy and would be delighted to unpick the deal that Ed Davey won. While in an ideal world I would like to see the 2030 target set earlier, I was not prepared to risk jeopardising all the significant achievements in the Bill and put at risk thousands of green jobs.

JENNY WILLOTT

Jenny Willott -signature

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