27 May 2013
Members of Parliament are being asked to support amendments from MPs Yeo and Gardiner to make the Energy Bill more effective in supporting low carbon businesses. A decarbonising Energy Bill would force electricity generators to remove coal-fired and gas-fired power stations from their networks by 2030, unless those plants were equipped with machinery to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions. There is a concern that we are dangerously dependent on expensive, volatile, imported fossil fuels.
There is also the need to move to cleaner sources of energy generation now that unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide are in the Earth's atmosphere. At a historic high of 400 parts per million of CO2 levels are higher now than they have been for the last three and a half million years, possibly even longer than that.
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion says, "...We should set the targets in line with the science, rather than what we think is politically possible, because the target of decarbonisation by 2030 gives us only a 37% chance of remaining within two degrees, and if someone said we only had a 37% of not falling out of the air I suspect that we would not get on an aeroplane? The odds are very scary."
In October last year 52 businesses, in a letter to the Chancellor said, " Failure to act at sufficient scale and pace will undermine our prosperity, and cause us to miss out on the huge commercial opportunities associated with the global shift to a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy." The CBI have reported that more than a third of economic growth came from green businesses. They generate more than £98bn in sales and employ more than 735,000 people. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says they grow at 6% a year with £7bn added sales and 6,000 new jobs.
This growth is now at risk of investor uncertainty. A 2030 decarbonisation target would help confidence and investment.