Greater energy efficiency and a secure, low carbon energy mix for the long-term are at the centre of the energy white paper published by Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling today (23 May). In a statement to the House of Commons, Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling said: "We face two big challenges - climate change and maintaining stable and affordable energy supply in an increasingly unstable world. The energy white paper sets out a long term framework for action to address these challenges at home and abroad.

Greenpeace - which forced the publication of the white paper to be delayed from March after it mounted a court challenge - immediately condemned the conclusions, saying ministers were neglecting viable alternative energy sources.

"The government has tinkered with its failing energy efficiency and renewables policy while indulging its nuclear obsession," said Greenpeace director John Sauven.

"If ministers go down the nuclear route, they will strangle the new, clean energy technologies of the investment and political support they need."

Today's announcement comes as little surprise, given Tony Blair's much-repeated insistence that nuclear power is a vital component in ensuring the UK both cuts its emissions of greenhouse gases and maintains secure energy supplies in an era of declining North Sea oil and gas production.

http://environment.guardian.co.uk/energy/story/0,,2086394,00.html