The suggestion of a 10-15% reduction in the UK’s renewable energy target is bad news on many levels.
First, it’s bad for British business. We have already failed to capitalise on the opportunity to be a leader in onshore wind, despite having the largest wind resource in Europe. Now Denmark and Germany have taken that prize. We should not allow the same thing to happen in the case of other energy technologies.
It’s bad, too, for Britain’s international image. It is central to Britain’s international climate change policy that we are seen as a leader in reducing emissions to the level required to avoid catastrophic climate change. We need to demonstrate to laggards that this is possible so as to convince them to take similar action. Backtracking on renewable energy targets will dangerously hinder our image in this respect.
The science tells us we have a 10-15 year window in which to make the changes that are required to avert the dangerously expensive consequences of climate change; it is time to get on with it.
We need the Ministry of Defence and the shipping industry to work with government and the offshore wind industry, to ensure that their concerns are addressed in a manner that allows the exploitation of our offshore wind resource.
We need to support the innovative actions of business, such as BT’s recently announced plans to develop wind power projects to meet 25% of its electricity demand, with appropriately ambitious legislation.
We also fundamentally need to recognise that we already have the technical solutions at our disposal. In other words, what we really need is political leadership. What British enterprise certainly does not need is for Britain to take a place among the laggards – shame on a secretary of state for business and enterprise (of all things) to suggest such a thing.
Jack Jenkins, hurleypalmerflatt