Monday, 16 August 2010

Turns out the Coalition has no respect for the Green Agenda either

At just over 100 days the coalition’s “ethical foreign policy” moment has begun to set in. That is where the highfalutin policies that they were at liberty to espouse and pontificate about at length, while in opposition, are quietly sidelined when the realities of government set in.

Green groups are aghast that a flagship policy, called for in opposition by both Lib Dems and Tories (and which they last year tried to force on the Labour government), will now be ditched, and won't feature in the coalition's first energy bill.

Their criticism of the government's seemingly faltering commitment to green issues follows news last week that nature reserves could be sold off as countryside protection measures also bear the brunt of budget cuts in the Department for the Environment. So there you are, the English will have The Lake District plc!

Introducing a so-called "environmental performance standard" (EPS) for power companies would have restricted greenhouse gas emissions from coal and gas plants and encouraged companies wishing to build to use more efficient technology.

Its introduction was personally championed by David Cameron, George Osborne and Nick Clegg when in opposition; their opposition to Kingsnorth coal fired power station became something of a cause célèbre (and even features in the coalition agreement). E.ON’s proposals for Kingsnorth were, however, supported by energy companies and Tory backbenchers. So are we getting a sniff of dirty energy money combined with the usual backbench awkward squad?

Now government sources confirm they will not be bringing forward legislation in the autumn and will instead spend the summer working on "the larger picture". They will open a consultation on the idea in the autumn with the results being presented to parliament as a white paper next year.

Green campaigners believe this is noncommittal for a policy both parts of the coalition said could be implemented immediately when in opposition. Gee these Green’s are naive if they thought that things promised in opposition would actually happen.

They believe a delay in the introduction of the standard until next year with a few years for the legislation to pass through the Houses and for it to be set up raises the possibility of new coal-fired power stations slipping through the system.

Or possibly it may not happening at all and if the EPS is abandoned it would almost certainly re-open the debate about what the industry needs to change and encourage utilities to push forward with their original plans for a whole new fleet of filthy coal stations in the UK (the first to be built here for 30 years).

The consequences would be that the battle of Kingsnorth could be re-fought. But this time with Dave and Nick on the other side!

Along with opposition to the third runway at Heathrow, introduction of the EPS to bind the construction of new power plants was a key policy for both the Tories and Lib Dems.

Though the plan had Cameron and Clegg's support during their time in opposition, Cameron's party was not convinced. At the time, the amendment put him on a collision course with his backbenchers, who remain hugely sceptical of his green agenda, and he did not impose a three line whip on them when they voted on the proposal.

What a great example of the fine words bandied in opposition being totally subsumed in the real world of big (dirty) business and political reality. No surprise that the Tories did it. But the Lib Dems? I wonder if they will have a voter left by the time the AV referendum comes round.



    One hopes not............But look at them there Labour supporters they vote Labour no matter what..

    perhaps the Lib dem voters may be just as mindlessly loyal.

    Although we Labour supporters are a special breed ya lie to us ya cheat us ya jump up and down on our heads and steal everything we got.
    and we says ta very much and still vote for Labour.

    Thats loyalty for ya or something else perhaps and you know what we even know what they are going to do to us.

    a special breed us Labour supporters

  2. Backstabbers and turn coats every single one...

  3. Why not coal, we're sitting upon billions of tons of it, and yes it can be clean burned too.
    Problem with enviroloonies is that they often run aground on facts rather than wishful thinking, it's why wind farms don't work to full capacity and are environmentally unfriendly (check out the huge concrete blocks they sit on)
    still environmentalists vote, so opposition parties give lip service too them and drop the idiot proposals as soon as they see the bill and face the threat of the lights going out.

  4. I don't believe in man-made global warming at all, indeed I take the Lord Lawson line:

    That there is global warming, as a natural cycle, which we MAY be speeding up. But it is inevitable.

    Thus I disaproved of our 'green credentials' anyhoo. They will cost jobs, cost economic growth, and all to prevent the inevitable. A much better use of money is improving flood defences in York and Cornwall frankly.

  5. "Backstabbers and turn coats every single one..."

    You talking about Labour supporters? If so, totally.

  6. The Quiet_Man could maybe explain 'clean coal' technology as all the stuff I know is brown-black in colour. 440,000 tonnes of uranium to produce 33tonnes of reprocessed reactor fuel for 1 years running is an awfy lot of concrete plinths and exstensive environmental pollution every year.

    The lights are going out yes because the money supply is running out so I would keep quiet about that coal your sitting on as your going to need it to keep warm.

  7. Mr MixedPickle: special indeed!!

  8. Indyanhat: I think you forgot hypocrite!

  9. QM: who is saying that coal is not good? Other than the Tories and the Lib Dems hitherto! The point is they hijacked the green agenda to suit their electoral agenda, then ditched it ASAP!

  10. Dean: do you also disaprove of the hypocrisy of saying one thing then doing another?

  11. "I don't believe in man-made global warming at all, indeed I take the Lord Lawson line:

    That there is global warming, as a natural cycle, which we MAY be speeding up. But it is inevitable."

    How does our speeding it up equate to it being inevitable? or when one presses the accelerator pedal to go faster we don't have a choice.

    "Thus I disaproved of our 'green credentials' anyhoo. They will cost jobs, cost economic growth, and all to prevent the inevitable. A much better use of money is improving flood defences in York and Cornwall frankly."

    Make money to spend on flood defences try digging holes instead because we can always fill them in afterwards.

    Apologies to the host for butting in but it gets my goat when people profess to have an education talk pifle.

  12. Cynical...
    Never feel you have to apologise for making a comment on someone else’s comment. It most certainly is not "butting in". Your input is, as is everyone else's, very welcome and greatly appreciated by the hosts... ;¬)

    Yep, the way I read it the Libs and the Tories called upon the Labour government to do the green thing... they said in their manifestos that they would do it. (God knows it's one of the things that they agreed on BEFORE Cleggeron's "Road to Damascus" week.)

    Personally I think it would be a great idea if we reopened the mines and started getting the coal out. None of us knows whether global warming is manmade or not. None of us is an expert, but I kinda look at it from the point of view that I’ll be dead before it happens anyways....

    The problem seems to be that Mrs Thatcher closed the mines because we were to be a service economy..... No one ever explained the fundamentals of economics to her and she had a wee fancy man who dealt with that, badly.

    I suspect it might be an expensive job to reverse the closures now, as the mines are all flooded, but maybe it could be done. It would probably be less expensive than Trident, would be a lot more use and would generate a lot more employment.

  13. Cynical,

    As a neo-keynesian I disagree with your opposition to sensible economic solutions.


  14. Tris,

    I agree. Reopen the mines if the can make money, more fuel independence would be a good thing.

    But NO to any subsidy.

  15. Dean

    More FULL independence works for me

    and by the way Conan has an experimental blog idea today.

    It is worth a look

    Click and follow or copy and paste in a new window

  16. LOL.. good one Bugger.... fuel...full....

    Off to look at conan now....

    Thanks for the heads up...

  17. Awww brilliant. Bugger's link is another of Conan's wheezes (in association with Bugger).

    Totally funny, pretty much what you'd expect from Conan...well worth a look, and a laugh!

  18. went along, its a good little blog there. I need to add it to my blog list.

  19. Pseudopigraphia has a new Iain Gray diary page today

    It deserves to be syndicated!