Thursday, August 02, 2012

Nick Clegg urged to resist Tory pressure for second dash to gas.

Pressure group 38 Degrees has just launched a campaign (supplementary blog post) to persuade Nick Clegg of the political importance of sticking to Lib Dem commitments on climate change.

The focus of this campaign is the electricity sector. When most people think carbon emissions they think electricity so this is an obvious target, and infact the importance of electricity as a target for emissions mitigation is growing as transport including railways and cars become electified.

The Chancellor is calling for more focus on gas turbines in order to cut emissions. Gas powered stations produce far lass (roughly half) the emissions per KWh of coal powered stations. The problem with this approach is that UK carbon emission reduction targets require an almost total decarbonisation in the electricity sector--the easiest in a series of not at all easy solutions to high levels of carbon emissions. While a second dash to gas dosent require much capital and is something we have done before it isn't as safe for consumers as it is for politicians. Gas prices are highly volotile and while gas may be a cheaper short term solution as the Treasury seem to be betting, this is far from certain. What is certain, is that once built gas power stations will need to be decomissioned and replaced with still lower carbon forms of energy. It looks like this absurdity acceptable to the chancellor as his immediate priority is recapturing the hearts of his backbenchers a number of whom are staunchly anti-wind.

One MP whom the chancellor is not impressing with this real politik approach to energy policy is conservative MP Tim Yeo, chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee which has produced a report into the recent energy bill (if you are interested in govornment energy policy these reports are a superb place to start your investigations).

Please take part in the action here. And if you like the work that 38 degrees are doing and you are fortunate enough to be financially secure then please consider making a donation, it's more important than ever that those of us with the means support our causes during tough economic times.

Climate Change Action

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