"I’ve seen some shoddy Bills pass through Parliament—but this is one of the worst."by Caroline Lucas / January 18, 2016 / Leave a comment
Most people will only be thinking about one energy bill this week. With temperatures dropping many will be worrying about how they can heat their home without breaking the bank. Fuel poverty is widespread in Britain—affecting about one in ten households according to the Government’s own statistics.
But today another kind of energy bill is sitting on the desk of MPs.
I’ve been in Parliament for six years—and believe me I’ve seen some shoddy legislation pass through the House of Commons—but this Energy Bill really is up there with the worst.
On a very basic level, and most importantly for the people who are shivering in their homes today, this bill offers nothing on energy efficiency and fuel poverty. If ever a chance had presented itself to roll out a mass insulation programme—which could return £1.27 in tax revenue for every £1 invested by government and create over 100,000 jobs in the UK—this is it. But instead we have a piece of legislation that’s being framed by the Government as “helping bill payers” while doing the exact opposite.
Now you might be thinking (if you’ve studiously avoided reading anything at all in the last few months but Government press releases about the UK’s energy policy) that at least the Government are sticking to their post-Paris pledge to be part of the worldwide fight against climate change. Well, it’s not quite like that. Cameron has gone from hugging a husky to conspiring to melt the poor dog’s home, all the while speaking as if he’s built it a luxury mansion.
At a time when we should be speeding up deployment of renewable energy, getting serious about energy efficiency, and working out how to leave the vast majority of fossil fuels in the ground, this Bill takes us in the opposite direction. It builds on the government’s current strategy to maximise the economic recovery of oil and gas. A glance at the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s Twitter account makes clear its current thinking:
.@andrealeadsom Oil is a vital part of our energy mix + we’re focused on what more can be done to support the…