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Environmental Audit Committee urge UK Chancellor to back energy policy

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The Environmental Audit Committee ( EAC) is urging the Chancellor George Osborne for a clear decarbonisation target, to restore investor confidence in the Government’s energy policy.

Committee chair Joan Walley MP is pushing for a 2030 decarbonisation goal for the power sector in the forthcoming Energy Bill.“The government needs to reassure investors by setting a clear target in the Energy Bill to clean up the power sector by 2030. A second ‘dash for gas’ could lock the UK into a high-carbon energy system that leaves us vulnerable to rising gas prices.”

The Committee wants the Treasury to explain how new incentives for gas-powered energy generation can be compatible with the UK’s legally binding carbon reduction targets.

“The Treasury must end the uncertainty on energy policy and give investors and businesses the confidence to seize the enormous opportunities presented by new clean technologies,” she adds.

The forthcoming Autumn statement sets the tone of economic policy for the immediate future, and would be an ideal moment to clarify the government’s position, according to the Committee.

The Committee is concerned that the government’s ‘mixed messages’ on energy policy could lose the UK millions of pounds in green investment, with global competition intensifying.

They are also calling on the Treasury to identify ways it could support the recently published Energy Efficiency Strategy, like introducing feed-in tariff for demand reduction, reduced VAT for energy efficient boilers and windows, and Council Tax rebates on efficient homes.

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