New cabinet appointments are ‘quite encouraging with respect to energy’

That’s the verdict from energy expert Jeremy Nicholson, who told ELN he thought the new Prime Minister’s reshuffle was ‘relatively logical’

Festival Net Zero 2021

Boris Johnson’s new cabinet appointments are ‘quite encouraging with respect to energy’.

That’s the verdict from energy expert Jeremy Nicholson, who told ELN he thought the new Prime Minister‘s reshuffle was “relatively logical”, noting that new Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom is suitably experienced for the position.

He said despite concerns in some corners that she has previously stood against certain types of onshore wind development as a constituency MP, he noted that in recent times that she has spoken very positively against net zero targets, which will undoubtedly require significant support from renewables.

Mr Nicholson said: “Whatever one agrees or disagrees with Andrea Leadsom’s particular views on Brexit, she’s in favour of a market-based energy policy and she’s in favour of a least-coast means of reaching our climate targets, both of which are positive for consumers.”

He added it was a “shame” her predecessor Claire Perry did not remain in a ministerial position, after proving an  “unusually enthusiastic, keen and knowledgeable Energy Minister”, noting that it was “very interesting” that the new role of President of COP 26 has been created – he said the position was “hugely important to net-zero agenda and everything that comes with it”.

Regarding the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, he said: “It’s somewhat refreshing to see such an ebullient, optimistic character in Number 10, could it prove a disaster, it’s entirely possible, but it’s not going to be dull finding out.”

He added if the 2050 net-zero target is going to be “convincing and solid” across the next three decades, it is important that there is support from across the political spectrum – Mr Nicholson said Boris Johnson‘s “positive and can-do attitude” would likely prove useful in dealing with tough environmental issues.

He added: “I think that spirit of optimism is positive, my question mark is whether that is going to be tempered by realism and understanding at a technical level within the ministerial posts and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

“I’m relatively optimistic about that but there are some new faces and time will tell.”

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