Energy and climate change

The Government believes that climate change is one of the gravest threats we face, and that urgent action at home and abroad is required. We need to use a wide range of levers to cut carbon emissions, decarbonise the economy and support the creation of new green jobs and technologies. We will implement a full programme of measures to fulfil our joint ambitions for a low carbon and eco-friendly economy.

  • We will push for the EU to demonstrate leadership in tackling international climate change, including by supporting an increase in the EU emission reduction target to 30% by 2020.
  • We will seek to increase the target for energy from renewable sources, subject to the advice of the Climate Change Committee.
  • We will continue public sector investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology for four coal-fired power stations.
  • We will establish a smart grid and roll out smart meters.
  • We will establish a full system of feed-in tariffs in electricity – as well as the maintenance of banded Renewables Obligation Certificates.
  • We will introduce measures to promote a huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion.
  • We will create a green investment bank.
  • We will retain energy performance certificates while scrapping HIPs.
  • We will introduce measures to encourage marine energy.
  • We will establish an emissions performance standard that will prevent coal-fired power stations being built unless they are equipped with sufficient carbon capture and storage to meet the emissions performance standard.
  • We will cancel the third runway at Heathrow.
  • We will refuse permission for additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted.
  • We will replace Air Passenger Duty with a per-flight duty.
  • We will introduce a floor price for carbon, and make efforts to persuade the EU to move towards full auctioning of ETS permits.
  • Through our ‘Green Deal’, we will encourage home energy efficiency improvements paid for by savings from energy bills. We will also take measures to improve energy efficiency in businesses and public sector buildings. We will reduce central government carbon emissions by 10% within 12 months.
  • We will reform energy markets to deliver security of supply and investment in low carbon energy, and ensure fair competition including a review of the role of Ofgem.
  • We will instruct Ofgem to establish a security guarantee of energy supplies.
  • We will give an Annual Energy Statement to Parliament to set strategic energy policy and guide investment.
  • We will deliver an offshore electricity grid in order to support the development of a new generation of offshore wind power.
  • We will encourage community-owned renewable energy schemes where local people benefit from the power produced. We will also allow communities that host renewable energy projects to keep the additional business rates they generate.
  • As part of the creation of a green investment bank, we will create green financial products to provide individuals with opportunities to invest in the infrastructure needed to support the new green economy.
  • We will work towards an ambitious global climate deal that will limit emissions and explore the creation of new international sources of funding for the purpose of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
  • Liberal Democrats have long opposed any new nuclear construction. Conservatives, by contrast, are committed to allowing the replacement of existing nuclear power stations provided that they are subject to the normal planning process for major projects (under a new National Planning Statement), and also provided that they receive no public subsidy.
  • We will implement a process allowing the Liberal Democrats to maintain their opposition to nuclear power while permitting the Government to bring forward the National Planning Statement for ratification by Parliament so that new nuclear construction becomes possible. This process will involve: – the Government completing the drafting of a national planning statement and putting it before Parliament; – specific agreement that a Liberal Democrat spokesperson will speak against the Planning Statement, but that Liberal Democrat MPs will abstain; and – clarity that this will not be regarded as an issue of confidence.

Your comments (941)

  1. ken smillie says:

    I used to vote tory, but never again till they drop this warmist nonsense. Hold a royal commission or do some proper science instead of listening to Big Green intoning their articles of faith

  2. Steve Moore says:

    The solar thermal industry needs drastic action to avoid ‘the slide’ as regards any progress.
    A proven technology, it is vital the RHI is sorted.We are still finding our feet from ‘the kick in the stomach’ from the closure of LCBP phase 1 and of course phase 2- This instantly ‘pulled the plug’ on growth within the industry,and led to job losses and obvious ‘knock on effects’.
    The government has to recognise the enormous potential of investment with renewables and in particular ,solar thermal.
    The smaller companies are again being penalised by ‘inconsistent’ changes in decisions.
    Why do we make things so complicated ? We start / stop things ,start schemes ,stop them ,then bring out a different one etc etc.
    I urge the governement to ‘look at the bigger picture’ within our solar industry -especially in contrast when you consider as a country we have still committed to donate 300million to China & India -two of the most thriving countries for manufacturing- There’s something wrong somewhere I think??
    RHI please ,more investment & make things a bit more straight forward too!
    S ort O ou S olar

  3. Roger Dobbs says:

    I’m a scientist. All through the history of science, scientists have had a series of intense, heated and protracted debates about the big scientific questions of their day. I mean questions like: what is the age of the earth? what is the structure of the atom? Is the universe static or expanding? Usually these debates last for decades with opposing camps fighting their corner until eventually the weight of hard evidence leads to an incontrovertible conclusion.

    The global warming debate is another such question. The difference here is that the vast weight of evidence, of vastly different kinds from glacier melt, ocean/air temperatures, changing distributions of plants and animals, etc. is so persuasive that there is almost total unanimity across the breadth of scientific disciplines that global temperatures are increasing and the mankind’s activities are a huge factor in that change. The strength and persuasiveness of the evidence has accumulated over an unusually short time so the lengthy scientific debates that have characteristised previous ‘big questions’ just haven’t occured on climate change. The absence of scientific debate has givien rise to unfounded accusations of a scientific conspiracy but what motive would there be for such a conspiracy when scientists thrive on controversy?

    Anyway, the real point is: if the earth really is warming and mankind is the prime cause, then we really need green energy on a massive scale. If the climate isn’t warming, then green energy gives us enormous flexibility into the future.

    My concern is that the previous government talked the talk but abjectly failed to deliver on its commitments to take climate change seriously. I believe we are in the last chance saloon and unless we make a serious national effort to get much, much greener, then we condemn ourselves to a bleak future.

  4. Peter Randall says:

    It is really important the renewable Heat Incentive is fully implemented, and implemented in a way that increases the incentives above the levels currently mooted. This programme can provide an opportunity to bring renewable energy to the homes of many who had not thought of it or could simply not afford it. Exploiting the RHI could make the UK a country with the highest level of domestic renewables rather than an also ran.

    There is plenty of talk of ‘green jobs’ and a ‘green economy’. Rather than hot air lets have solar powered hot water in every home capable of housing an installation. The UK could lead the world in this field, and the RHI could be the catalyst. New jobs and new businesses are waiting, but only if there is the impetus of a fully funded RHI from a fully committed government.

    Peter Randall
    Solar Kingdom Ltd

  5. Charles Osborne says:

    • Do not wait for the Climate Change Committee’s recommendations, being at the forefront globally of the movement towards 100% renewable energy generation is in our national interest – a future where foreign policy is not constrained by our appetite for hydrocarbons is an important long-term goal, and a vocal, energy independent Britain will command great respect in international political fora.
    • CCS is an important stopgap solution, but like hybrid vehicles it is an interim solution, let’s pioneer the technology and then sell it to countries building fossil fuels power stations and fund renewables research with the income
    • Consult widely on the implementation of feed-in tariffs – security and certainty over existing ROCs and a crystal clear, logical transition to FITs is essential in order to maintain the investor confidence we need to build the portfolio of renewable generation technologies we need to harness the vast marine resources of our island nation. Look to other countries where similar systems run concurrently for inspiration on a stable market that can accommodate both incentive schemes.
    • I wholeheartedly encourage massive investment in energy from waste technology, this should be complemented by a massive boost in recycling, and should focus not just on domestic but commercial waste, creating incentives for decentralised waste-to-energy plants on a small scale, as well as large facilities in dense urban centres.
    • Be clear on how the green investment bank will be funded, and to what extent, and do it soon – an ambitious commitment will yield great return on investment for the country and encourage both investors and cutting-edge researchers to continue to come to the UK
    • Be tough on the big six utilities if you want to see home energy performance increase – it is unacceptable in 2010 that energy bills contain such a lack of basic, comprehensible data on consumption – smart meters, energy displays and digitised consumption information are a must, now. Clockwork dials and estimated bills are C.19th technology
    • What measures will encourage green energy? In the North of Scotland we have best-in-the-world facilities at EMEC, and world-beating wave and tidal resources – focus on channeling EU funding in to this area and aggressively promoting the formation of distinct clusters of expertise in this area and beyond, ensuring the triangle of science-policy-industry are all on board
    • In the medium term multi-fuel power plants and gas-fired turbines will be best placed to support an aggressive increase in renewables and a modern, lower-carbon energy system, so measures that disincentivise new coal-fired plant, are to be encouraged
    • Curbing runway expansion in the southern hub airports is sensible and would be well complemented by shifting focus towards a massive expansion of our nascent domestic high-speed rail network, and incentives for private investment in the sector.
    • OFGEM’s new offshore transmission operator (OFTO) regime is confusing – whilst the end goal may be sensible (though this itself is hotly debated at present), there is the danger now that large projects, ready-to-go may be delayed by a year or more due to confusion over the time periods concerning the ‘enduring regime’ and its successor. We need for the process of constructing wind farms and soon large tidal and wave device arrays to be simple, straightforward, and to get simpler – the more complicated and confusing the process, the slower it will be for the price per installed MW of offshore wind to come closer to parity with current fossil-fuel generation technologies.
    • In order to maintain security of supply once planned Round 2.5 and 3 offshore wind farms come online and other marine renewables are further integrated in to our grid system we require investment not only in our grid, and new offshore grid connections, but international connectors must be planned immediately. If we take Denmark as an example, with the highest proportion of electricity generated from wind power of any country in the world, there is one crucial factor that has enabled them to get to their current position, and which now threatens to hold them back from moving past 15-20% of generation from wind power – international connections. The Danes export much of their wind power, to Germany, to Sweden and to Norway. In turn they import much from all of these countries – see – the ONLY internationally trading electricity market in the world, Nordpool, enables this. We should examine this market mechanism as a potential model for trans-European grids, and focus heavily on both HVAC and HVDC cabling between the UK and Ireland, France, Holland, Germany, Iceland, Denmark and Norway – examine what barriers stand in the way of an offshore ’smart supergrid’ and plan for this to happen – it will enable us to profit from our offshore renewables resources in future – the technology required is not new. EiB funding should be targeted for such projects, and UK regions helped to secure other EU funds, on the provision that these are effectively spent on specific industry projects and not channelled through underqualified civil servants or overpaid consultants
    • Again, look to Denmark for lessons to be learned re: community-owned renewable energy schemes, the models used for onshore wind farm ownership are applicable in the UK, and could be replicated across other generation technologies. Consider in particular small scale wind where the UK have manufacturing expertise and world-class companies. Generation is small and opinion is mixed of the realistic contribution to the national energy system, but incentivising entrepreneurial activity and encouraging innovative applications, particularly in rural areas loses us little.
    • Absolute and immediate clarity on the future of the IPC and planning processes for large infrastructure projects in the energy sector is imperative, before viable projects are unduly delayed and international companies look to other territories in which to invest – the new government must not be quiet about this process, but show evidence of an understanding of the anxiety amongst developers through presenting a clear, structured plan for the short- and medium-term

  6. A.Saunders says:

    The Minister for Energy & Climate Change should publish a paper detailing the amount of carbon emission reduction is expected from operating both Onshore and Offshore wind turbines. This should include carbon emissions from manufacture and construction, the energy required to maintain turbines when there is no wind, and the generating capacity run on standby in case the wind drops.
    The public should be made aware how ineffective wind turbines are in generating electricity.
    No wind turbine should be sited within 2kms. of an inhabited dwelling, unless compulsory purchase is offered at fair value, upto 2 years after a wind farm has become fully operational.
    The ROC scheme should be abolished as it merely provides a hugely profitable subsidy to the wind farm developer, at the expense of the consumer.

  7. Steve Miller says:

    Can the government please recognise that there are a huge majority of people that do not want to see billion spent making our economy less competitive by committing to these ridiculous impossible CO2 cuts. Oh and please drop the “this puppy will drown unless you turn the lights off” adverts

  8. philip riley says:

    Kinetic Energy is equal to half the mass times the square of the velocity, One mole of air occupies 22.4 litres at 20 degrees Celsius,Mass of one mole of air is equal to, as near as dammit 14.4 g.You now have all the information you need to work out why windmills are a complete WASTE OF FU**ING TIME.
    Please ,use your head, and think about this….. Nuclear will work, so will ‘fossil fuels’, renewables will not. This really is basic Maths.

  9. james says:

    what is the evidence for dangerous climate change? computer modelling is not evidence. ’scientific consensus’ is not evidence. there is never any true evidence offered, just scare talk. people will look back on the current scare as we look back on lysenkoism. wake up you people.

  10. Fred says:

    From reading prior posts it is disturbing how vehement many people’s views are on mankind’s contribution to climate change on the back of what remains as yet inconclusive.

    I don’t know one way or the other. But all scientists appear to agree that the earth has experienced wild swings in its climate over its lifetime and these were before humans existed – and we would not have survived the extremes. So whether or not humans are causing some current changes (I think we almost certainly are, simply because there are so many of us, but I don’t know which direction they are taking the climate and I certainly don’t know how harmful or irreversible these are or), I agree with those who think that trying to fight the effects is pretty futile and we are best spending money on trying to accommodate changes rather than inventing complicated artificial markets with lots of arcane rules to solve a rather ill-defined problem.

    I do know that fossil fuels and other resources like metal ores are finite, we are consuming them at an alarming rate, and I think humans will be facing fossil energy and many mineral shortages before the effects of man-made climate change really hit. It is that reason that makes me think we should be pursuing truly sustainable energy policies – and if we did that then I think the climate would look after itself. We should treat the cause not the symptom. When did CO2 become a pollutant? Plants don’t think so. They love the higher concentrations and grow faster. It is an essential element in the life cycle. So why is CCS such a good idea? It is absolutely crazy. We need to use less fossil fuel period and let the earth come back into balance as plants deal with the CO2 in the atmosphere naturally (provided we don’t chop them all down – which leads to a much more sensible policy – to subsidise natural CO2 capture through forests or algae or whatever works best rather than industrial stick-it-down-a-hole-in-the-ground- and-forget-it type solutions).

    Humans are renewable – and if ever fail to renew ourselves we won’t be around to care. So why do we make human labour artificially expensive by taxing it? Why does the total tax on labour (VAT, employers and employees NI, income tax…) exceed 50% the amount that someone charges for their work? Abolish tax on humans and the cost of human labour is halved.

    Instead we should be taxing the finite resources that we are consuming. The truly radical answer would be to sweep away all the micro managing at the edges and totally change taxation policy. What more popular policy could there be than abolishing income tax on the lowest paid totally? And also free up all the hours spent by people who collect their tax and check their tax or coming up with schemes to avoid their tax to do something more useful.

    The argument against indirect taxes on consumption is that they hit the poorest hardest. So…increase the minimum wage. Ensure people are given enough to live on (not necessarily how they wanted to historically) – and those that choose sustainable options then have more purchasing power than those that have high consumption of finite resources. Don’t limit people’s choice directly – do so purely on the basis of the cost given the scarcity of the resource that is being consumed by their activity or choice. Yes you can drink bottled water or foreign beer – but it is fiendishly more expensive than tap water or a local microbrewery brew, because of the costs involved in getting it to you.

    Thus people, society, markets would start to choose different actions. Deposit bottles would make a comeback because the labour involved in collection would be cheaper than the tax on energy to make new glass. Milkman would make a comeback because the reusable milk bottles would be cheaper than the energy that went into throwaway cardboard or oil based plastic. More jobs, less resources. Maybe using horses again? Possibly, but probably not – more likely using electric floats charged up on renewable power overnight. Travel would become more of a luxury – an infrequent adventure – so no need for more roads or runways. People still could and would travel – but less often. So they would become more focused on their communities – living and working in the same place, because it gave them a higher standard of living.

    Utopia? A backward step? Or a necessary future for good or ill?

    The landfill tax and the aggregates tax have to be good. But instead of a climate change levy and renewable obligation and renewable heat incentive and road transport fuel obligation and all the other paraphernalia of renewable incentives which attempt to pick winners and in doing so discriminate (for example the billions proposed in an offshore grid to make something appear economic that would not otherwise be economic compared with other low carbon alternatives)… sweep them all away with a simple carbon tax. Much easier to collect from the few suppliers than the millions of consumers. Then set everything and everyone free to compete and wait for human ingenuity to find the solutions, based on an understanding that the more you use of something that can’t be replaced, the more expensive it is.

    If the UK went this way then it would need a radical review of its cross border trade arrangements, since energy intensive industry and other manufacturing industry would be penalised. So….shut the borders. Not to trade itself, but monitor everything crossing the borders much more closely. Subsidise exports to and penalise exports from countries that have a less sustainable tax system. Isn’t that true international leadership – pointing the way to the future?

    (And wouldn’t that help with illegal immigration as a side effect because the some of cost of collecting taxes i.e. people enforcing cross border tariffs. would be placed at the borders and be able to monitor much more closely what comes in and goes out, including people?)

    (And what about the EU? Well perhaps they could follow us for a change and if they don’t then what better reason to leave the expensive bureaucratic morass behind? It’s not xenophobic – it’s simply practical.)

    Isn’t this small government – setting the overall framework and letting local people and big business in their own way then sort things out for themselves?

    Instead of which the proposals are for continuation of the little bits of regulation that say what someone can and can’t do to get a subsidy which then has to be managed and assessed and monitored, and creates the distortions and unfairness which many of those who have posted have identified…..

    Is this simply too radical for the “new politics”?

  11. Sop this madness.


  12. Ali Abbas says:

    We need to start by being realistic about our national emission reduction targets. The science (and the Committee on Climate Change) says we need to cut emissions by at least 42% by 2020, so we should increase our target from 34% to 42% with immediate effect.

    Secondly, in order to meet our legally binding national carbon budgets, we need to allocate local carbon budgets for each local authority so they know what proportion of emission cuts need to happen in their area.

    Thirdly, we need to deal with emissions from farming. We need an urgent assessment of the environmental impacts of meat & dairy production, and develop a strategy to reduce these emissions.

    And finally, while agreement at EU level is important, we should be pushing for a 40% cut by 2020 in line with the latest science instead of a 30% cut. I also expect the Government to take a strong lead in achieving an international agreement that is fair, binding and in line with what the science demands.

  13. George Speller says:

    Most people are now starting to realise that whatever the truth of “climate change”, and I am not convinced having seen the obvious flaws in the “studies”, the whole situation has been hijacked by vested interests ranging from light bulb manufacturers to fraudulent “consultants” , from boiler salespeople to power-hungry politicians. Al with the aim of 1) making us uncomfortable and 2) making money. My belief is that the whole “climate change” affair is thoroughly discredited and should be ignored until we really know what’s going on.
    I am in favour of sensible stewardship of resources, but not at the expense of the benefits of civilisation.

  14. Kath Aitken says:

    The FIT for photovoltaics and wind turbines is far greater than that for hydro schemes,despite the fact that they are less efficient. This is rewarding inefficiency.
    As we have experienced the applications to Sepa and Planning are comprehensive and rigorously applied when developing a hydro-sheme. Insisting on the use of accredited installers would seem to be unnecessary,will increase costs greatly and act as a massive dissincentive to producing useful amounts of renewable energy.

  15. Simon Pinches says:

    Climate change is indeed a very serious threat.. The UK is presently at the forefront of international research into the realisation of using nuclear fusion as a clean, safe, environmentally friendly energy source for the future. The sums of money involved in accelerating the research and development programme are insignificant compared to the energy market whilst the long term pay back is almost beyond measure.

  16. Dominic says:

    If AGW is real then it is probably too late to do anything to stop it. Let’s just deal with the effects which could be beneficial (higher crop yields, fewer winter deaths).

    If it is not real then this is an enormous waster of money.

  17. Dominic says:

    What is the point. China will continue to expand its energy use as will India. This is a waste of time. Let’s just deal with the consequences.

  18. Jane Grierson says:

    It would be good if the government could help set up channels of communication to facilitate, and give incentives to people wanting to invest both their time and money in renewable and sustainable energy. Bring Caroline Lucas on board – she must have a lot of expertise – Wouldn’t it be great if people’s pensions could be invested in the green technologies of the future rather than the dinosaur oil industry of the past, and unfortunately the present?

  19. Marzena Embleton says:

    The Renewable Heat Incentive is an important tool to fight climate change by helping to promote the generation of renewable heat. We are concerned that it is not mentioned within the Programme for Government and would like to see the new Coalition Government reaffirm its support for the scheme.

  20. Peter Davies says:

    The new Feed-in Tariffs are unfair to people who cannot afford the installation costs as well as to early adopters. If the government want to encourage micro-generation they should re-introduce a generous grant system and work with suppliers to encourage more export to the grid by paying a premium for unused electricity generated. This would have the added benefit of making householders reduce their own consumption in order to maximise their export.

  21. N. M. says:

    There is no evidence whatsoever that C02 causes climate change. NONE!

    And there is no need to handicap our economy with pointless and overly expensive electricity from heavily subsidised wind turbines.

    The IPCC has studiously ignored sources of natural climate change and exists only to deliver up fear and unfounded alarmism as a tool for political manipulation.

  22. Roland Embleton says:

    The Renewable Heat Incentive is an important tool to fight climate change by helping to promote the generation of renewable heat. We are concerned that it is not mentioned within the Programme for Government and would like to see the new Coalition Government reaffirm its support for the scheme.

  23. Ben says:

    My suggestion is that we use renewable means of generating electricity in times of low demand to electrolyse water to obtain hydrogen that can then be stored and later used in fuel-cells to back up the renewable sources should they fall below capacity, as this will ensure that we receive constant electricity whatever the weather.

    Also, we have already been promised by many car manufacturers that by the middle of this decade they will have hydrogen powered cars in mass production, and to begin to remove fossil-fuels cars from our roads would lead to a significant drop in our carbon dioxide production. I feel that the government should be trying to encourage more ‘hydrogen highways’ being developed in order to offer a viable alternative to fossil-fuel powered vehicles being used nationally.

    Finally, I know that the Isle of Wight is a prime location to start implementing some of these renewable energy generation methods, especially wind turbines. However, repeatedly plans for wind turbines have been rejected, and when I went to the latest of the applications decision-making sessions, I was appalled at the reasons for which the plans were rejected, and at the assumptions that some of the Councillors seemed to jump to, one of them rejecting the wind turbines on the assumption that wave and tidal energy could be harnessed instead; actually, wave power is still in infant stages, prototypes still only just being tested, and studies that have already been undertaken have shown that there are relatively few areas around Britain that tidal power is viable. The ignorance of these people was staggering, especially as myself being eighteen and about forty years younger than the Councillors was aware of these developments. Therefore, I would say that on issues involving new and developing technologies, it should be necessary that at the people charged with making decisions are aware of the different stages of development at which technologies are at, or an independent expert who is able to advise and correct those decision makers so that people are not given false information.

  24. Julian Ghail says:

    Without a scheme to balance the FIT structure for PV targeting, solar thermal, bio mass and wind energy systems such as the proposed RHI renewable low carbon energy systems face a bias against implementation. The tariff structure in Germany results in 70% PV over solar thermal installations because PV receive a more favourable rate. The UK scheme is even more generous to PV and with no word on RHI despite pledges by all parties, Solar Thermal faces dark days ahead. 
    Far greater energy is expended heating homes than lighting them, if government is focused on CO2 reduction then it needs to be commited to lowering fossil fuel usage by homes, combined solar thermal & biomass heating systems are positive steps to reduce CO2 & fossil fuel. With out a simple effective incentive scheme, the adoption of such technology will be slow and haphazard at best.
    Indusrtry is ready to invest, clients are ready to invest, jobs and growth are there for the taking all that is required is affirmative leadership and long term commitment from government.    

  25. Sarah Bernard says:

    It is clear that there has only been ‘lip service’ to climate change. If there was genuine concern then plastic bags and unfriendly packaging would be banned or made excessively expensive. The car scrappage scheme led to perfectly good cars being scrapped – thousands of light bulbs have been thrown out to be replaced – how much carbon is really saved in cases like this. Most government buildings are overheated and over lit. No real commitment – the planet will live on, its environment has always changed!

  26. Clive says:

    Mass production is cheaper than bespoke. British standards plugs fit British Standards sockets, no matter who the manufacturer.

    Develop standard designs for wave power generators, solar panels and fittings, etc., and release them to manufacturers around the country.

    Different manufacturers will then compete to make interchangeable units. If someone fits some solar panels and the original manufacturer folds, the installation can be repaired or expanded without complete replacement. Installers can be trained on one manufacturer’s products then be able to fit another’s.

    Developing such engineering standards requires leadership. Are you up to the challenge?

  27. Kevin says:

    We should push forwards with super fast broadband fibre to the home, to provide 100MB bandwith would allow all the office based workers to fully work from home reducing transport on the roads. this speed is required to provide video calls it would also match office networks so could run all tools used in offices. Offer FE and HE schools and NHS internet services to again reduce travel. this would uncongest our roads and reduce CO2 from both cars and office buildings whist providing more brown site land for conversion from offices to homes in numbers that would bring house prices down.

  28. Baz says:

    By tying FITs to MCS equipment and installation not only has a heathy DIY activity been penalised but also the price inflated making unecenomic propositions even more so. The gullible and especially elderly are being conned into thinking Photo Voltaics are a sound investment when the return cannot both pay back the capital as well as interest.

    Global warming and many other problems are caused by gross overpopulation. People who breed more than 2 children must be penalised while thiose with 1 or fewer must be rewarded to meet a UK target population of 50 million by 2040.

  29. Alun Thomas says:

    Carbon capture and storage, and any implicit reference to the idea of ‘clean coal’, should be wiped entirely from the document.

    The science behind carbon capture is not substantive enough for any government to invest in it or rely on it, particularly with regards to an issue of the magnitude of climate change. Furthermore, including any reference to coal as an energy source of the future is highly dangerous, because it allows for a continuing reliance on this 20th Century resource, albeit it with (minimal) regulations enforced to make it more climate friendly.

    If this clause is not excluded from the new government’s programme, I think we should expect further demonstrations and public outrage over the expansion and continuing existence of coal-fired power stations. The government would inevitably have to ignore or repress this public anger, and this would perpetuate the belief that the British state is neither accountable nor ‘on the people’s side’.

  30. kenneth says:

    I would like to ask you whether you can avoid getting a nasty feeling that something fishy is going on when you read this;

    And wouldnt you like to see all RURAL stations in the US plotted?

  31. We are in full support that significant action is needed by the UK Government to substantially reduce carbon emissions in the UK and globally. Whilst this is not a comfortable or desirable position to be in globally, it the current position.

    Science, and the collation of evidence, is our best way of predicting the future. In the case of our climate we already have evidence that the average temperatures have risen. The prediction is, and will increasingly be, greater instability in our weather with more heatwaves, longer cold periods and more violent storms.

    We urge this new Government to be braver in their legislation. When people hear about the predicted scenarios for our future planet, yet see no evidence that Government is tackling the issue immediately it opens a space for doubt. ‘If it really was that bad, why aren’t people doing something about it?’

    We would also like Government to look at the role of independent charitable organisations who have proven expertise in bringing scientists together with the public to explore these and other issues. 20 million members of the public visit our centres each year to discuss and explore all the sciences and we would hope to be part of any national initiative in this area.

  32. Catherine Beer says:

    Really like the idea of a green investment bank. We need major stimulus to pioneer renewable energies and have wonderful natural resources here (wind, tidal).

  33. Laura says:

    Please can you set a fixed distance at which aesthetic complaints may be made about planned wind turbines?

    As far as I’m concerned, wind turbines are considerably more pleasant aesthetically than many other sources of energy. That said, of course local residents should have the right to complain about proposed building plans. But only the complaints of those within a certain range of the proposed build should be listened to.

  34. Howard Johns says:

    There is a massive potential to create jobs, provide energy security and reduce carbon emissions through the use of solar energy. It is the only renewable that is virtually zero carbon and can be used to produce heat and electricity. It is ready to deploy now and will create many thousands of jobs along with marked shifts in consumer behaviour.

    It is great that we have a feed in tariff for PV, but now we need a similar measure for solar thermal. We need a clear statement of intent on future support for solar thermal technologies and the renewable heat incentive. This funding gap and lack of clarity is very damaging to this fledgling industry.

    There is a huge lack of understanding in the UK both by officials and the public – in a year where Germans installed 2.1million sq meters of solar thermal UK residents installed 80,000 sq meters. In Denmark solar thermal is used to supplement district heating networks and produces heat cheaper than any other source including gas. Solar thermal has the potential to provide 47% of Europes heating and cooling needs by 2050, but it will get nowhere near unless we have consistent support.

    Please make this the moment where we get the conditions right for a strong solar market in the UK.

  35. Ken says:

    This whole agenda is a bizarre flight from reality. There is no exceptional change going on in climate. Most of the proposed ‘remedies’ are efficient means of transferring wealth from the poor (most energy consumers) to the rich. Those with the land to carpet with useless windmills or equally useless solar panels get absurd rewards through the renewables obligation. Check out (using Dukes) the pathetic percentage of energy generated by wind in the first 6 months of 2010 compared with the installed capacity. It is a gross waste of resources to put expensive materials up on a stick to generate one sixth of their installed capacity. The Danish, Germans and Spanish have all written comprehensive reports detailing the poor investment that wind power represents. A true monument to folly (with acknowledgement to Richard North). Produce energy by the cheapest means – plants love CO2. Thirteen years of socialist inaction on security of energy supply needs prompt and decisive action not more foolish expenditure on unnecessary and grossly expensive renewables – which will grow even more expensive when the maintenance bills start coming in.

  36. David says:

    The scientific justification for the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis has been holed below the water. This is because the last ditch attempt to justify the claim, the assumption that man made made pollution makes clouds reflect more incoming solar radiation, cannot be proved experimentally. My own assessment is that insiders knew this by about 2004 but have been kept quiet for fear of losing their careers.

    Take away that prop and either the models or their calibration are wrong, or there’s a combination of the two. The emerging consensus amongst independent climate scientists is that perhaps 20% of modern climate change has been down to AGW with the rest due to natural causes. The decade long attempt by activists to claim there was no Mediaeval warm period and no Roman warm period has apparently failed.

    However, this El Nino year has brightened up those who fear their control of the science will be lost. GISS has made much of the first few months’ high temperatures but we now enter a cooling La Nina. If 2010 is cooler than 2005, the game’s probably up. Much of the mainstream scientific establishment is appalled at the damage to the reputation of science by the sheer pettiness by which some activists controlled publication media.

    It’s probably best to wait until 2014 before coming to a final conclusion because if the modellers are right, and they still could be, by then according to Hadley we should have got back on the warming track. So, be prepared but do not be panicked. Carbon taxes, a replacement for mortgage based securities, can’t be justified until the science is settled, and it is not despite what the IPCC claims.

  37. Freddie says:

    Due to the fluctuating nature of the global temperature over the last 4 billion years, it is in deed impossible to ascertain whether or not our actions are solely responsible for the warming we are currently experiencing.

    What we do know for sure, however, is that levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere have rapidly increased over the last 50 years and this is due to intensive agriculture and the increased burning of fossil fuels. This is beyond doubt. We also know that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (methane etc.) are responsible for trapping heat around the earth, hence the term, ‘greenhouse’ gas.

    You can only bury your head in the sand for so long. Our dependence on fossil fuels must come to an end. Not only are we contributing to climate change, but we are also sending billions in ‘petrodollars’ to Saudi Arabia and the other oil states that are responsible for some of the most heinous acts of terrorism towards Western states.

    If you can’t do it for the environment, then do it for our national security.

  38. Andrew Savage says:

    Oh dear some of these Climate Change deniers do not seem to think clearly.
    Whatever the cause of global warming, and there can be little doubt the planet is warming, billions will die as previous fertile areas turn to dust. In previous climate change there were far fewer people and to survive they simply moved elsewhere (or died there are no records) better hope that global warming is anthropogenic for at least that gives us a (slim) chance of actually doing something about it afterall we can hardly move the planet’s orbit.

  39. David and Alice Howdle says:

    The Renewable Heat Incentive is an important tool to fight climate change by helping to promote the generation of renewable heat. We are concerned that it is not mentioned within the Programme for Government and would like to see the new Coalition Government reaffirm its support for the scheme.

  40. Alastair Smith says:

    Please don’t waste our money on these Green forms of energy. Climate Change is a scam to increase taxation and it is unproven, get some independent research done, than standards up to peer review with all data made public. Build nuclear power stations now, but make sure they’re British owned, we must not be at the mercy of foreign companies/governments, we must be self sufficient in power generation.

    If the government is really concerned about pollution, then start giving money to car manufacturers (R&D dept.) to speed up the development of the fuel cell.