Energy secretary slamms thye suggestion the UK should suspend its legally binding climate reduction targets

Ed Davey

Energy secretary Ed Davey has s former environment secretary Owen Paterson’s suggestion that the government should scrap its legally binding carbon emissions reduction targets

Davey said following through with Paterson’s proposal would be “one of the most stupid economic decisions imaginable”.

Speaking at a lecture for think tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation on Wednesday, Paterson said the Climate Change Act, which commits the UK to reduce its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, “should be effectively suspended and eventually repealed”.

He argued it encouraged a policy of too much investment in renewable energy technologies and required too much subsidy. He said the government should encourage energy efficiency, small nuclear, shale gas and combined heat and power plants instead.

But Davey hit back saying “Most leading British businesses and City investment funds agree with the Coalition that taking out an ‘insurance policy’ now will protect the UK against astronomical future costs caused by a changing climate.

“Indeed, the majority of  European countries have now come  around to the UK’s way of thinking and are ready to implement proposals that would see other European countries adopt targets similar to our Climate Change Act in a deal the Prime Minister should seal later this month.

He said the “global marketplace” for Britain’s green technology was “increasingly strong and should balloon over the next decade”

He concluded: “Ripping up the Climate Change Act would be one of the most stupid economic decisions imaginable.”