Some might say our government is hypocritical. Indeed, its rhetoric supposedly supporting action on climate change is surely at odds with its own policy. On the one hand they want to cut the subsidies for onshore wind power a year early and make it easier for local people to block new wind farms. While on the other hand the government plans to fast-track fracking, by making it more difficult for local people to stop test drilling.
Yet the government’s lack of clear support for renewable energy seems to be based on little more than predjudice. There appears to be no evidence behind todays announcement. Instead the government argues, somewhat strangely, that making the industry “stand on its own two feet” is all part of a bigger plan. As if to justify matters, the Energy Secretarty is widely quoted as saying, “We are committed to cutting carbon emissions by fostering enterprise, competition, opportunity and growth.”
I’m not surpised Green campaigners are angry, I certainly am. Here is what some others had to say on this (as reported on ClickGreen):
Greenpeace UK energy and climate campaigner Daisy Sands said: “Ministers have just moved to raise everyone’s energy bills by blocking the cheapest form of clean power, whilst continuing to back the impossibly expensive Hinkley C and going ‘all out’ for unpopular, risky, and unproven fracking.”
Dale Vince, founder of green energy company Ecotricity, said: “There are two issues here. Firstly the Government justifies cutting support for onshore wind on the basis of saving money and wanting technologies to stand on their own feet. At the same time it awards a further 35 years of new subsidies to nuclear, and billions to the oil and gas industry to support it against falling energy prices.
“And then there’s fracking, probably the most unpopular of all energy sources. Planning regulations and property law have been changed to make it easier, environmental standards have been dropped – even the requirement to tell someone you plan to frack under their house has been removed. There is no local say or veto here. And it’s been promised the most generous tax regime in the world.
Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy campaigner Alasdair Cameron said: “Slashing wind support on the day the Pope calls for stronger climate action, and 24 hours after thousands lobbied their MPs to do more for the environment, shows the Government is living in a different world.
“Far from showing global leadership ahead of the crucial Paris climate summit later this year, the government appears to be making the environment pay the price for rash pre-election promises.”