Campaigners have been concerned that the current National Policy Statement that dates back to 2011 allows for new fossil fuel projects to proceed. The government has now agreed to review its national energy policy in light of the UK’s more ambitious climate targets. Madeleine Cuff explains in an article on the inews website.
Green campaigners claim victory as Government agrees to review energy policy
Environment Secretary George Eustice confirms Government will reconsider national energy policy on climate grounds
Environmental campaigners are claiming victory after the UK Government agreed to review its national energy policy in light of the UK’s more ambitious climate targets.
In response to a legal challenge brought by campaigners, including Guardian columnist George Monbiot, Business Secretary Alok Sharma this week confirmed the policy will be reviewed.
The National Policy Statement (NPS) for energy sets out the Government’s framework for approving major energy infrastructure such as new power plants.
Environmentalists have long wanted to see the document updated to reflect the UK’s climate target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, which was set into law last year. They argue the current NPS – which dates back to 2011 – is allowing new fossil fuel projects to proceed despite climate fears.
The challenge was brought by the Good Law Project and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince, alongside Mr Monbiot. The group said they would continue to push ahead with the judicial review to force the Government to suspend the existing NPS for energy while a new policy is drafted.
George Monbiot, environmentalist, said: “This is a partial but important victory. Our challenge has already secured a major concession from the government. Now we hope to turn this concession into a permanent policy change, preventing the approval of new fossil fuel projects. Our aim is to oblige the government to uphold its own laws, and respect its own policies.”
Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said: “For several months the government have been ducking and diving on this issue, prevaricating and contradicting themselves. This acceptance of the blindingly obvious, that planning policy which prioritises fossil fuel burning is outdated, was a hard won victory – it shouldn’t need to be so. The requirement for reviewing such policies is a matter of law as well as good old common sense. This government cares for neither.”