Not if low-carbon transformation is at the heart of the government’s industrial strategyby Michael Liebreich / November 15, 2016 / Leave a comment
One of Theresa May’s first acts as Prime Minister was to merge the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) into a new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The move was met by howls of outrage from the UK’s self-appointed climate champions: Ed Davey, former Lib Dem DECC Secretary, called it “a major setback to British efforts to combat global warming”; Green MP Caroline Lucas said the move was “deeply worrying”; Ed Miliband, the first ever Secretary at DECC branded it “plain stupid.”
What bothered them was the fact that there would no longer be a government department with the words “climate change” in its name, which they took to mean that the May government would relax its commitment to climate action.
Within a week, however, the government had approved the fifth carbon budget of the 2009 Climate Change Act, which binds the UK to eliminating 80 per cent of its emissions by 2050. Then, at the UN General Assembly in September, May announced that the UK would ratify the Paris Agreement, committing the UK—along with the rest of the world—to weaning itself entirely from fossil fuels by the second half of this century.