An attempt by rebels to push through a 2030 decarbonisation target amendment as part of the Energy Bill has failed today.The amendment was voted down by 290 votes to 267 this afternoon.
Some high profile rebels including former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy and president Tim Farron voted for the amendment, but this was not enough to pass it.
Tim Yeo, the Conservative chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, tabled the amendment alongside Labour’s Barry Gardiner to attempt to achieve a decarbonisation target by 1 April 2014.
Under the Energy Bill as it stands, the secretary of state will be able to set a decarbonisation target for 2030 no earlier than 2016, once the fifth carbon budget has been agreed.
Yeo told the commons the amendment would have “materially improved the Energy Bill”. He disputed fears that setting the decarbonisation target in 2014 would increase energy bills.
The front bench of Labour looked confident as they left for the lobby to vote on the amendment, but when they returned they may have suspected they didn’t have enough support as energy secretary Davey shared a joke with former energy minister John Hayes.
There was some disappointment from the Labour MP’s as the government had tried to rush the bill through, with less than half an hour was allowed for additional debate.
REA Chief Executive Gaynor Hartnell said the failure to get the amendment added was “disappointing”.
She added: “Failing to decarbonise our electricity supply industry will have long term consequences both environmentally and economically.”