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CCC throws down the gauntlet on gas

13 September 2012

Commenting on a letter sent today by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to Energy Secretary Ed Davey, copied to the Prime Minister, Chancellor and other senior ministers [1], WWF said that the Committee’s intervention made clear that the inclusion of a decarbonisation target in the forthcoming Energy Bill was absolutely ‘essential’.

WWF pointed to calls from industry, the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and the CCC for the target, and argued that a UK energy policy heavily dependent on unabated gas was increasingly being seen as unviable. The group also pointed out that the UK is already over-reliant on gas [2] which was the main driver behind recent energy bill rises. Continuing this over-reliance on gas would make no strategic sense from the perspective of consumers or the UK’s energy security, whilst being completely incompatible with the UK’s obligations under the Climate Change Act.

Keith Allott, head of climate change at WWF-UK, said: “This intervention by the CCC is devastating blow to those in the Government who are trying to steamroller through a new dash for gas. The Committee couldn’t be clearer; this is just not viable if we want to meet our carbon budgets.

“The Government faces some make or break decisions on whether it will undermine the Climate Change Act with a rash ‘dash for gas', or promote the step-change in cutting carbon we know we need. With DECC and the Treasury at loggerheads on this, the Prime Minister needs to step in and prove he wants to lead the greenest government ever.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. The CCC’s letter to energy secretary Ed Davey is available here: http://hmccc.s3.amazonaws.com/EMR%20letter%20-%20September%2012.pdf

2. The UK is currently reliant on gas for 41% (DUKES 5.7) of its electricity needs and 80% of its heating needs (DECC). This lead to gas being the biggest contributing factor to energy bill rises between 2004 and 2010 with 63% of bill increases due to the rising price of gas.

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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