FoE threatens govt with court over lack of renewables plan

11th November 2015


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Fossil fuels

Author

Karen Johnson

Friends of the Earth has threatened the government with a legal challenge if it fails to come up with a credible plan to meet its EU renewables target.

Its warning came after energy and climate secretary Amber Rudd admitted in a letter leaked to the Ecologist magazine that the UK was unlikely to meet the legally binding targets under the renewable energy Directive.

The letter was addressed to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, Treasury chief secretary Greg Hands, foreign and commonwealth secretary Philip Hammond and Oliver Letwin, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

It stated that the UK was on course to generate around 11.5% of its overall energy from renewables by 2020, which is short of the 15% it is required to achieve. Since the government came to power in May it has made a series of cuts to renewable energy subsidies and changes to planning policies for onshore wind that will make it harder for projects to gain consent.

It has also failed to set out future funding under the contracts for difference (CfD) system, delaying an auction for energy contracts that industry expected this autumn. The cuts have been heavily criticised by industry and environmental campaigners, and also former US vice-president Al Gore.

The letter suggests meeting the target by buying electricity from other member states who have overachieved on their targets or negotiating with other states in a similar position to negotiate "flexibility" in the targets.

Speaking before the energy and climate change select committee in Parliament yesterday, Rudd confirmed the figures in the letter. She told MPs that the letter aimed to boost cross-department work on the target, particularly in transport. "It is after all, a cross-government target, it is not just for my department," she said.

She added that the energy and climate department was working on policies on renewable heat, an element of the target that is lagging behind.

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Alasdair Cameron said: "We will be writing to the government to set out our concerns and warn of the potential legal consequences if its renewable energy action plan is inadequate."

Meanwhile, new data has revealed that Scotland is at risk of not meeting its own target to produce 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. A report from Scottish Renewables published today said that Scotland was on track to generate 87% of its power demand from renewables by 2020.

Energy projects that could help it achieve the target are consented, but will not go ahead unless they are allocated a long-term contract for their power under the CfD, the trade body said.

The UK's unclear energy policies have caused it to lose its AAA rating for energy security on the World Energy Council's energy trilemma listing, published today. This ranks countries' energy policies based on energy security, sustainability and equity.

Joan MacNaughton, executive chair of the World Energy Trilemma study said: "If the UK is to remain ahead of the pack, and regain its 'triple A' positioning, the government must give more predictability to investors in the way the electricity market reforms are progressed. More transparency is needed about the future approach to contracts for difference and the levy control framework."

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

How much is too much?

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

In 2020, IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) jointly wrote and published A User Guide to Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. This has now been updated to include three key developments in the field.

2nd April 2024

Read more

Hello and welcome to another edition of Transform. I hope that you’ve had a good and productive few months so far.

28th March 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close