Andrew Smith MP

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Andrew regrets Energy Bill missed opportunity

NEWS_POST37.jpgAndrew Smith MP describes vote on clean power target a "sadly missed opportunity".

Andrew said: "Lots of constituents made strong arguments for this, and I very much agree with them."

The campaign to force the Coalition Government to drop its opposition to a deadline of 2030 for decarbonising the UK's electricity generation was unfortunately narrowly defeated last week. Winning by a majority of 23, the Government showed that it was unable to convince a large number of the House of Commons that its energy policy can give businesses the certainty to invest large sums of their money in green projects that can take as long as six years to complete. 

Andrew said just after the vote in the House of Commons: "I am one of the MPs who voted for the addition of a decarbonisation target, and as the visual guide below shows, every Labour Party MP voted for a realistic timeframe for achieving clean power." 

This missed opportunity will not only harm our ability to meet the targets set by the Labour Government for shrinking our carbon footprint and leaving our children and grandchildren a safe, sustainable, prosperous planet. The Government's refusal to follow the advice of the independent Committee on Climate Change for immediately introducing a 2030 carbon intensity target will stop businesses unlocking thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investments. Over a third of our economic growth and a million jobs in 2011-2012 came from the green sector. Nearly 100,000 jobs in the South East came from the low carbon and renewables sectors in 2010-2011, filling over 5,000 companies and generating nearly £12million in sales. Growing at over 2 per cent. a year for the last five years, the UK's green sector has grown faster than the global green sector rate and is taking a larger share of the global market. 

But, a sector with such huge potential for growth, particularly in engineering and industry, lacks cheerleaders in this government as loud as those in Ed Miliband's Department for Energy and Climate Change in the last government. The Labour Party understands that the best way of improving our energy security, growing our economy, and lowering our energy bills, rests on an energy policy that trusts instead of confuses investors, and gives them the political certainty they need to create the jobs of the future, jobs that are highly skilled, well paid, safe, and rewarding.

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