Rushanara Ali MP questioned the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, on the Government’s failure to hit key environmental targets ahead of landmark climate change talks in December.
Rushanara raised concerns about lack of a ‘credible plan’ from the Government on renewable energy at a meeting of the Energy and Climate Change Select committee, after a private letter written by the Secretary of State to Government colleagues came to light revealing that the UK is not on course to meet legal targets.
Meeting renewable energy targets by investing in wind and solar energy sources has been shown to be essential to reducing the UK’s carbon emissions, and so limiting damaging climate change over the next generation. Experts have warned that missing these international targets could lead to global temperature increases above the 2 degrees limit widely recognised as the maximum sustainable increase over the next century. They have also argued that a failure to address carbon emissions could lead to unprecedented increases in sea levels across the planet, as well as affecting disease patterns, food and water supply and infant mortality in developing countries such as Bangladesh.
Rushanara also raised the Government’s withdrawal of range of subsidies to wind and solar schemes – a recent record which led the Prime Minister’s former advisor to state that the Government was ‘failing on clean energy’.
Speaking after the session, Rushanara said:
“It is deeply concerning that the Secretary of State admits in private to colleagues that the Government is set to miss vital renewable energy targets, but reassures the public that we are still on target.
“Ahead of the international climate change talks in Paris this December, we need the Government to show ambition on renewable energy – the sort envisaged in Labour’s Climate Change Act.
“Yet what we’re getting is a Government giving mixed messages on our progress, as well as cutting a range of subsidies to renewable energy sources. Put simply, the Government urgently needs to back wind and solar energy in our country if we are to honour our international pledges. The UK needs to show real leadership in tackling carbon emissions – both to protect our environment and the life chances of millions across the developing world over the next century.”