Welcome to the hot seat

13th February 2012


Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Mitigation

Author

IEMA

Paul Suff warns Ed Davey of the pressures that lie ahead for him as the new energy and climate change secretary

In his first public policy comments as the new energy and climate change secretary, Ed Davey stressed that his department would continue to support the roll-out of renewable energy as a way to stimulate “green” economic growth.

“There may have been a change at the helm, but there’ll be no change in direction or ambition,” he said.

Although the true value of his pledge can only be judged by his future actions, environmentalists will be heartened by Davey’s comments, particularly as most will have viewed Chris Huhne’s departure with dismay. Huhne was thought by many to have played a key role in getting the coalition to back the creation of the Green Investment Bank and to endorse a tighter fourth carbon budget.

Davey’s transfer to DECC from the business department comes at a time when MPs supporting the government’s environment agenda increasingly find themselves on the back foot, while confidence among their opponents is rising.

Following Huhne’s resignation, David Cameron received a letter from 106 MPs demanding that the coalition scrap its financial support for onshore wind-energy generation.

This suggests a newfound belief among the motley crew of climate change sceptics and “nimbys” in the House of Commons that the self-styled “greenest government” may be reining back on its commitment to the environment.

Many signatories will have been emboldened to publicly challenge government policy by the chancellor’s autumn statement last year, in which he offered to help energy-intensive sectors mitigate the impact of policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions, dismantle existing environmental regulation and build more roads.

Meanwhile, DECC is operating under a financial straightjacket imposed by the Treasury, which led to its decision to pull the rug from under the feet of the solar panel industry by halving the feed-in tariff .

So, despite his assurances that DECC will not backtrack on its low-carbon objectives, Davey and his department are likely to come under increasing pressure to do just that.

Subscribe

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


Transform articles

EU and UK citizens fear net-zero delivery deficit

Support for net zero remains high across the UK and the EU, but the majority of citizens don't believe that major emitters and governments will reach their climate targets in time.

16th May 2024

Read more

There is strong support for renewable energy as a source of economic growth among UK voters, particularly among those intending to switch their support for a political party.

16th May 2024

Read more

Taxing the extraction of fossil fuels in the world’s most advanced economies could raise $720bn (£575bn) by 2030 to support vulnerable countries facing climate damages, analysis has found.

2nd May 2024

Read more

The largest-ever research initiative of its kind has been launched this week to establish a benchmark for the private sector’s contribution to the UK’s 2050 net-zero target.

2nd May 2024

Read more

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

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

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