An amendment to the Energy Bill that would have introduced a decarbonisation target for 2030 has been voted down by 290 votes to 267.
Following intense debate in the House of Commons, a number of Lib Dem MPs and a small number of Conservative MPs defied party whips to vote in favour of the amendment tabled by Tim Yeo, the chair of the Committee on Climate Change.
Reacting to the news, Friends of the Earth’s executive director lambasted the Liberal Democrat’s environmental record, stating: “The Liberal Democrat leadership’s green credibility has been left in tatters after siding with the Conservatives to back a headlong dash for gas – this would send fuel bills rocketing and jobs overseas, and punch a gaping hole in our climate targets.”
Gaynor Hartnell, the chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association added: “Today’s vote is disappointing. It makes an EU-level renewables target for 2030 even more important, something the ‘greenest government ever’ is also opposing in Europe.
“Failing to decarbonise our electricity supply industry will have long term consequences both environmentally and economically. The government’s own advisors, the Committee on Climate Change, state that relying on gas will only save the country money in a scenario of low gas prices, whereas switching to renewables would save the country £25 billion-45 billion by the 2020s.”
Energy Bill decarbonisation amendment fails to pass by 23 votes