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Debating climate policy in the House of Lords
July 23, 2015
On the 22nd July, the UK government's new Energy Bill was debated in the House of Lords. The bill controversially cuts many of the subsidies currently granted to green electricity production in Britain, and even proposes to levy a climate-change tax on low-carbon energy sources - memorably described by Friends of the Earth as "akin to charging alcohol duty on apple juice".
During the debate on the second reading of the Bill, one of the Climate Parliament's trustees, Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, delivered several pointed questions regarding the substance of the bill and the likely impact of the cuts on the nascent UK green energy industry - an industry which has until now been growing rapidly, and currently provides thousands of highly skilled jobs.
Lord Foulkes accused the Energy Bill in its current form of being "harmful" to renewable energy producers. The swinging reductions in promised financial support for the industry could leave as much as £350m invested in projects which may no longer be financially viable. Lord Foulkes decried the resulting stranded investments as "a terrible waste of resources". He added: "On top of this, the July budget scrapped the climate change levy exemption and that results in a double blow to renewable energy production in the UK and a loss of investor confidence."
During his speech to the House, Lord Foulkes also mentioned the work of the Climate Parliament in developing support for renewable energy amongst parliamentarians around the world.
You can watch the full debate, including Lord Foulkes' intervention, here.