MPs are trying to change the Energy Bill so it includes a 2030 emissions target which has been sidestepped by the Coalition once already.
A target fell by the wayside in the run-up to the Energy Bill’s publication last year, with Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey mediating between the green faction in his party and some of their Coalition partners in government who are opposed to such a target.
As the Energy Bill stands, the UK won’t have to set targets for cutting carbon emissions from the power sector until 2016.
Yesterday Tory MP Tim Yeo and Labour’s Alan Whitehead tabled amendments which would force the Government to lay out plans for cutting emissions from power generation over the next two decades.
They want to take out any words which would let the Government wriggle out of setting targets, switching “may” with “must”, while inserting the phrase: “a decarbonisation order must be made by 1 April 2014”.
Another change includes guaranteeing the decarbonisation levels fall in line with advice from the Committee on Climate Change.
Campaigners are hopeful the amendments will be able to weather attack from opponents in the House of Commons.
Greenpeace Energy Campaigner Leila Deen said: “George Osborne thought he’d buried the plan to clean up our electricity sector and cleared a path for his dash for gas. That Tim Yeo has tabled these amendments and is backed by hundreds of businesses, investors and civil society groups, is yet another signal that the Chancellor is out of touch on this issue.
She suggested Liberal Democrats who “caved in to Osborne” over the first draft of the Bill now have a “second chance” to get on the right side of voters and UK businesses by supporting the measure.