Clegg: There’s no Coalition clash on greening the economy

Deputy Minister Nick Clegg today challenged the idea of a Coalition clash on greening the economy in a speech about how important the renewable sector is to the UK. The […]

By Vicky Ellis

Deputy Minister Nick Clegg today challenged the idea of a Coalition clash on greening the economy in a speech about how important the renewable sector is to the UK.

The Coalition has been dogged with rumours of infighting over green policy, with Lib Dems Chris Huhne and his successor as Energy Secretary Ed Davey (pictured with Nick Clegg earlier this year) struggling to push the low carbon agenda while Chancellor George Osborne has at times appeared to dismiss the UK’s carbon commitments.

Speaking at the Global Business Summit on Energy in Lancaster House this morning, Nick Clegg said: “This Coalition Government is unreservedly committed to helping our low carbon sector thrive – no ifs; no buts… The Coalition is sometimes presented, in the press, as if it is riddled with debate and division with regard to greening the economy. That isn’t the case.”

As the UK Trade and Investment held its conference to champion British efforts, the Deputy Prime Minister sought to reassure firms spending cash on new infrastructure.

He said: “Understandably, you place a big premium on predictability. We hear that loud and clear. And there are three overarching ways that we are seeking to provide it.”

First he said the country’s “macroeconomic stability” was key to this, pointing to “historically low interest rates”, as well as the fact “a quarter of our deficit has now been paid off”.

Next he said “consistency from government” would give predictability, “So no surprises; no rabbits out of hats. We set out what we’re going to do – then we do it” – although he did admit they were taking “a bit of time to get the detail right – especially on major items like Electricity Market Reform”.

Finally he heralded the country’s “ambition” with policies such as the UK’s fourth carbon budget, the Green Investment Bank and the Green Deal, as more reassurance for business.

The speech came as the Government announced a spate of good news stories including a £100million fund for green investment from BIS.