The Prime Minister questioning whether the UK really needs a decarbonisation target and letting Ministers “gamble” the energy future on a dash for gas is “extremely reckless”.
That’s the view of environmental group Friends of the Earth, commenting on David Cameron’s evidence session yesterday about the future of UK policy and the “green Government”.
Mr Cameron defended the UK Government is the “greenest” and said it was important to set a “subsidy regime for renewable energy right out into the future”. However, he was unsure about how much gas is likely to be part of the country’s energy mix although he wants to be part of a “gas revolution”.
Andy Atkins, Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director said: “The Prime Minister seems worryingly out of touch with the latest scientific evidence. He clung doggedly to his green rhetoric but gave little reassurance that he is set to breathe new life into the Government’s rapidly deflating environmental credentials.
“His indication that he will allow Ministers to gamble our energy future on a dash for gas, even though he admits he doesn’t know what impact this will have, is extremely reckless. A fossil fuelled energy strategy risks massive fuel bill hikes and threatens to blow a gaping hole in UK climate targets, to which the PM claims he remains committed.
“David Cameron must show real leadership, insist on a cleaner, safer future and help the nation reap the huge jobs and business opportunities this will bring.”
The group added confidence in the Prime Minister “has faded” due to his “refusal to accept his climate advisers’ advice” on setting a target for the power sector and supporting George Osborne’s dash for gas.
WWF agreed there is a great risk if UK policy is led by the gas industry and that renewable energy is the “real revolution”.
Keith Allott, WWF-UK Head of Climate Change said: “This is about a choice. Cameron points to a potential revolution in gas around the world and he risks hitching the UK to a policy pushed by the gas industry that will be disastrous for the natural world, deliver catastrophic levels of climate change and push up energy bills. The IEA and major international institutions state increasing dependence on gas is not compatible with tackling climate change.
“There’s a second revolution – in renewable energy – that the mixed messages of Cameron and Osborne risk passing by and sending elsewhere. This real revolution and opportunity for the UK economy that will create jobs and boost GDP will be from renewable energy.”