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Renewable energy decision ‘common sense’

25 July 2012

Responding to the news that DECC had confirmed the level of support the Government plans to offer the onshore wind sector today [1], WWF said that the news of the 10% reduction was the common sense decision, but questioned why the government had taken so long to reach it.

Keith Allott, head of climate change at WWF-UK, said: “This is a common sense decision by DECC and Ed Davey, but as far as victories go, it’s a skirmish in the on-going battle with the Treasury that is turning energy policy into a political football.

“It seems to be getting more and more difficult to get the Government to deliver on any green issues, all too often because of the dead hand of the Treasury and George Osborne. It is remarkable that they both appear so resistant to measures to promote the green economy, when the CBI says this is one of the few bright spots of economic recovery.”

WWF also highlighted concerns that the Government was continuing to back ‘cheap’ gas, despite that fact that gas has been the main factor driving up bills in recent years, and said that continued reliance on fossil fuels seriously increased the risks posed by climate change. The group said that today’s announcement offers support of £500 million for the gas industry - dwarfing the sums involved in the row over support for renewables.

Keith Allott said: "The Committee on Climate Change has made clear that the power sector needs to be nearly carbon free by 2030, and that a new dash-for-gas is neither economically sensible nor compatible with our legal carbon budgets. The Treasury is forcing DECC to take a massive gamble that gas prices will come down, on the basis of no credible evidence, while subjecting renewable energy technologies to continual review and uncertainty.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. DECC: Renewable energy to bring £25bn of investment into UK economy (25.07.12): http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn12_086/pn12_086.aspx

For more information:

George Smeeton, Senior Press Officer WWF-UK
Tel: 01483 412 388, Mob: 07917 052 948, email: GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk

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