Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill

A cross-party group came within eight votes of passing a new green standard for power plants last night. Poor Lib Dem turnout has been blamed for the failure.

The Government narrowly avoided defeat last night

A cross-party group came within eight votes of passing a new green standard for power plants last night. Poor Lib Dem turnout has been blamed for stopping the measure passing.

In a sizeable rebellion, 27 Labour MPs last night voted against the government, and in favour of introducing a new green standard for power stations that would outlaw the building of the most polluting power stations like Kingsnorth.

The amendment to introduce an emissions performance standards (EPS) for power plants was narrowly defeated by just eight votes. Thirteen Lib Dem MPs, including Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and Chris Huhne did not bother to turn up. Had they done so, and voted for the measure they themselves have championed, the government would have been defeated and Parliament would have ended the era of dirty coal.

David Cameron who has been a prominent supporter of the EPS led many of his Conservative MPs through the chamber to support the new green standard – but thirty nine of his MPs did not vote either.

Among the Labour backbenchers who supported the new green measure were Alan Simpson, Jon Cruddas, and Colin Burgon, who was a prominent figure in the Leeds miner’s strike in the 1980s. A few Labour MPs including Dianne Abbott, Fabian Hamilton and Austin Mitchell told climate campaigners they’d vote for the amendment but then either voted against it or abstained. Reacting to the vote, the Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, told Left Foot Forward:

“Yesterday’s vote shows the depth of unease within the Labour party about a bill that hands billions of pounds to energy companies but fails to hold them to account. Ministers caved into lobbyists from big German utilities who claimed that this measure would scare off investment, when the evidence from places like California shows that the opposite is true. Investors want certainty. Without an emissions performance standard new power stations are subject not to a legally binding limit, but to a gentleman’s agreement that leaves an uncertain future for both investors and the UK’s climate targets.”

27 Responses to “Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill”

  1. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by leftfootfwd: Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill – but 13 Lib Dems incl Clegg failed to turn up & tip the balance http://bit.ly/dn7i9i

  2. Tom Raftery

    RT @Greenpeace: UK Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill http://bit.ly/c1xXj7

  3. Greenpeace NZ

    UK Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill http://bit.ly/cXwkkK

  4. Nick Young

    RT @gpnz: UK Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill http://bit.ly/cXwkkK

  5. Get Labour Out

    Cameron & rebel Labour MP's vote FOR greener power and AGAINST the government http://ow.ly/1b7Ib Will @JohnPrescott comment?

  6. karen harvill

    RT @Greenpeace: UK Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill http://bit.ly/c1xXj7

  7. Get Labour Out

    Some good posts on @leftfootfwd today http://ow.ly/1b85M and http://ow.ly/1b85N

  8. Transition Louth

    RT @greenpeace: UK Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill http://bit.ly/c1xXj7

  9. Elrond Burrell

    RT @robinbrittain: RT @ecotist: UK Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill http://bit.ly/c1xXj7

  10. Joce Edge

    RT @gpnz: UK Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill http://bit.ly/cXwkkK

  11. Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill | Left Foot Forward | 1st Gov

    […] Visit link: Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill | Left Foot Forward […]

  12. Sean Candy

    Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/doPwTs

  13. Get Labour Out

    Cameron & rebel Labour MP's vote FOR greener power and AGAINST the government http://ow.ly/1b7Ii Will @JohnPrescott comment?

  14. Steve Green

    RT @GetLabourOut: Cameron & rebel Labour MP's vote FOR greener power and AGAINST the government http://ow.ly/1b7Ii Will @JohnPrescott comment?

  15. David

    Are you sure Clegg and co weren’t twined?

  16. Chris Johnston

    Really interesting post, thank you. I’d love to know where you got the information that Fabian Hamilton said he’d vote for the amendment, then didn’t on the day. I’d very much like to feed that information back to fellow climate campaigners in Leeds, any help would be much appreciated.

  17. papercut heart

    RT @greenpeace: UK Government shaken by rebellion on Energy Bill http://bit.ly/c1xXj7

  18. Joss Garman

    @ Chris

    Fabian Hamilton signed up by putting his name to amendment NC16 – the amendment that would introduce emissions performance standards. He didn’t vote.

  19. Luke Walter

    @TheBrettLeppard As I said, it is the principle that matters. They've missed important votes before http://bit.ly/bB58Sq #debill

  20. Luke Walter

    @xchewtoyx @katybairstow It's the principle that matters. Leading LDems have been absent from an important vote before http://bit.ly/bB58Sq

  21. Luke Walter

    @McShambles I'm talking about the emissions performance standard on the Energy Bill http://bit.ly/bB58Sq Only needed 8 extra votes to win it

  22. Vote 2010: Climate change | Left Foot Forward

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  23. Is Huhne about to approve new dirty coal stations? | Joss Garman

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  24. The Milibrothers take the green test | Left Foot Forward

    […] he was energy secretary, Ed Miliband opposed the introduction of emissions performance standards for power stations, but the four CCS demos were […]

  25. The Milibrothers take the green test | Joss Garman

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