We don’t want to be preachy or boring but this blog is where we share our values and experiences and write about the issues shaping the future of our businesses and our society. Catch a glimpse into our lives and find out what’s new in our world...

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

New UK Govt Stance On Environment

The new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government in the UK is setting out its stall on a host of policy issues, including its plans for the environment.  Some of the proposed measures represent a continuation of the policies of the Labour government while others are a departure from previous strategies. 

In its initial negotiations, the Coalition has agreed on a programme of measures to achieve a “low carbon and eco-friendly economy” including a specific commitment to reduce central government carbon emissions by 10 per cent within 12 months.

The new government supports public investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology for four coal-fired stations and seeks to increase the target for energy from renewable sources.  The provision of home energy improvements will be paid for by savings from lower energy bills, according to initial policy statements from the Conservative party.  Also on the agenda are a “green investment bank” and a high-speed rail network, which were previously Labour government initiatives.

The Coalition also intends to set up a smart grid and the roll-out of smart meters and a national recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

On nuclear power, despite opposition from the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives will allow the replacement of existing nuclear power stations provided that they receive no public subsidy.  

Controversially, the new government has ruled out plans for a third runway for Heathrow airport or additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted and the UK’s air passenger duty will be replaced by a new “per-flight” tax.

The new Minister for the Environment is the Conservative MP, Caroline Spelman, who has a background in agriculture.  Liberal Democrat and former MEP Chris Huhne is the new Minister for Energy and Climate Change, something which many environmentalists should presumably welcome, provided his hands are not tied by their coalition partners. 

Another loss in Brussels is former MEP Caroline Lucas, who became the first Green Party Member of the UK Parliament, representing the southern English town of Brighton.

No comments:

Post a Comment