Secretary of State at newly formed Department of Energy & Climate Change plans joined-up approach
Joined-up approach to energy and climate change — Ed Miliband, Secretary of State of the newly formed Department of Energy & Climate Change.
The industry has responded enthusiastically to the setting up of the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) last month and to its early commitment to reduce the UK’s emissions of greenhouse-gas by 80% by 2050. Ed Miliband, the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, himself welcomed the creation of this new department to tackle the twin challenges of energy security and climate change. He said, ‘The new department reflects the fact that energy policy and climate change are directly linked.’ Later in the month in a statement to the House of Commons, he said, ‘The new department brings together the Government’s work on three long-term challenges that face our country. Ensuring that we have energy that is affordable, secure and sustainable. Bringing about the transition to a low-carbon Britain. And achieving an international agreement on climate change at Copenhagen in December 2009.’ He also announced that he plans to bring an amendment to the Energy Bill to introduce a feed-in tariff to support small-scale renewables and to make a further announcement on encouraging renewable heat. Welcoming the creation of the DECC, Graham Meeks, director of the Combined Heat & Power Association, said, ‘This is a real step forward to tackle climate change and preserve the nation’s energy security. This move may stand out as one of the decisive moments of Gordon Brown’s premiership.’ Graham Meeks also welcomed the planned introduction of a feed-in tariff for small-scale electricity generation and the 80% CO2 savings target. He said, ‘The Secretary of State is to be applauded on his swift move to adopt the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendations for a 80% CO2 savings target. It leaves little room for doubt that the Government is serious in tackling climate change. It is an important and welcome first step that will help to build certainty in the market.’ The Ground Source Heat Pump Association has welcomed the Government’s demonstration of its commitment to energy and renewable heat. Karl Drage, chairman of the GSHPA, says, ‘With the Government’s support, the association will strive to ensure that ground-source heat pumps are used to their maximum potential. This will deliver a very significant proportion of the UK’s 2050 carbon-reduction targets.’ David Matthews, chief executive of the Solar Trade Association, commented. ‘The new department will very significantly raise the profile of energy efficiency and renewable energy in the national Government, and this will have a much wider impact across the whole country.’ Dr David Strong, chief executive of Inbuilt, an RES Group company, said, ‘The creation of the new DECC is hugely important. The need for more joined-up thinking between energy-supply policy and energy-demand issues has been evident for a long time. Even back in May this year, the Tories policy-exchange think tank published a report warning that the Government is in danger of missing almost two-thirds of its targets on energy and climate change. So the real test of Ed Miliband will be how quickly he can get a clear and powerful policy commitment on these issues at a time when everyone’s worrying about the global economy and how well he can influence other departments to achieve effective cost-cutting.’