Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Government set to break promise on renewables target

Britain would only aim to generate 10-15% of its electricity from renewables by 2020, Malcolm Wicks, the Energy Minister, said last night.

Gordon Brown repeated today on Prime Minister's Questions, that the target of getting 20 per cent renewable electricity was the target for the European Union as a whole.

Wicks denied the Government had ever committed itself to the 20 per cent figure.

This is a patent lie. The promise was made by David Miliband. He said in June "the UK is committed to generating 20 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020".

And Wicks is on record in Hansard's as saying:

The Government's aspiration is by 2020 to double renewable energy's share of electricity to 20 per cent.

Wicks also said last night "At the end of the day, renewables is a means to an end. The end is bringing down carbon emissions."

Not so - a further aim is energy security. Renewables are the only energy technologies that give us a fuel source that is on UK sovereign territory and will be forever.

Brown said today within the general EU target each member state sets its own target.

(Germany is ahead of its target and so currently compensates in Europe for those like Britain who are lagging behind).

Brown said under pressure from the LibDem spokesleader, that the UK will now set its own new target and when it does he will let the House know.

The Low Carbon Kid says the Government must not betray the climate, the world and its own promises but stick to the target it promised it would keep.

In the meantime Brown underscored the need for more offshore and onshore wind farms and a feasibility study for the Severn Barrage.

Government documents prepared for Brown, leaked in The Guardian on Monday, claimed there were “severe practical difficulties” with the 20% target.

Mr Wicks said last night that renewables were not the only way to fight climate change and that the Government was “doing many other things”.

Um, like expanding airports and roads, perhaps - or bringing in digital radio which uses seven times more carbon emissions than analogue radio?

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