Within the last month, we have seen many changes in the world of Energy. On June 30th, after the EU referendum, Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change at the time, announced the UK’s fifth carbon budget, in parliament, which has set out a new legally binding emissions reduction for 2030.
Amber Rudd commented “Setting long term targets to reduce our emissions is a fundamental part of building a secure, affordable and clean energy infrastructure system that our families and businesses can rely on and that is fit for the 21st Century. The UK remains committed to playing its part in tackling climate change to ensure our long-term economic security and prosperity”
There was a positive response to the UK’s fifth carbon budget, Phil Hurley, managing director of NIBE commented, “There is no denying the uncertainty that’s facing the renewable heating industry following the decision to leave the EU. This much needed injection of confidence shows the government is still very much committed to building a lower carbon future for the UK – the UK now has a 2030 target that’s significantly more ambitious that the EU’s own”
Two weeks later, the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced in her first Cabinet reshuffle the end of The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the responsibilities have been merged into a new ministry – the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The new department is headed up by Greg Clark, Mr Clark said “I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable clean energy and tackling climate change”
The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) described the new department as a golden opportunity to put sustainable business at the heart of jobs and prosperity.
Good Energy chief executive Juliet Davenport called on Clark to ensure climate change does not slip down the government’s agenda. “In some ways, the name above the door of the civil service department doesn’t matter,” she said. “I want to see concrete action to transform our energy system and clear policies for meeting the UK’s decarbonisation commitments.”
Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit director Richard Black added: “Greg Clark is an excellent appointment – he understands climate change, and has written influential papers on the benefits of Britain developing a low-carbon economy. Creating this new department opens up the exciting option of an innovation and industry strategy that enables companies in the clean energy supply chain, including steel, to expand and thrive together.”
Renewable Energy Association policy head James Court said: “We are delighted Greg Clark has been appointed the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He previously showed real vision as the Shadow Energy Secretary and we look forward to working with him once again in order to get things moving on the deployment of new renewable energy infrastructure.”
Amongst all these changes, R A Brown are confident the government continues to show commitment to supporting carbon reduction and the renewable heating industry.