UK back pedals on Paris climate pledge

Just five days after the global community rallied together to sign a historic agreement to halt climate change, the UK government announced a 65 per cent cut to renewable energy subsidies.

Energy and climate change secretary, Amber Rudd, announced sweeping cuts to renewable energy subsidies on Thursday.

While Rudd said her objective is to keep energy bills as low as possible for families and business, Damian Carrington writes in an article for the Guardian that the latest cuts will have little impact on energy bills. As he argues, the “best cost-saving measure – energy efficiency – has had its support slashed by Rudd.”

The latest move was also accompanied by a cap on the total subsidy paid out, which means that the rate of domestic solar installations will likely halve.

Renewable energy was the only energy branch to see its subsidies cut; nuclear power will be subsidised by the taxpayers over the next 35 years to support Hinkley Point, what Carrington calls “the most expensive power station ever built”.

Fossil fuels also continue to enjoy subsidies in the UK, which is the only G7 nation to increase fossil fuel subsidies. Carrington also accuses the UK government of abandoning a GBP 1 billion competition to build carbon capture and storage demonstration plans, while also pushing ahead with fracking.

The latest move is a “mockery” of prime minister David Cameron’s speech in Paris at the UN climate summit that we should take action against climate change today instead of making excuses tomorrow to our children and grandchildren, writes Carrington.

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