Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds

The credibility of the coalition’s claim to be the ‘greenest government ever’ suffered a huge blow today following reports the Treasury is planning to axe DECC.

The credibility of the coalition’s claim to be the ‘greenest government ever’ suffered a huge blow today with The Guardian revealing Lib Dem climate secretary Chris Huhne has had to battle to stop George Osborne’s Treasury shutting down his Department of Energy and Climate Change altogether.

The Guardian reports:

“Huhne is having to resist the Treasury on numerous policy fronts.”

Adding:

“When all government departments were asked to model the effect of 40 per cent cuts over the summer, officials at DECC told ministers that cuts of that level to its £3.2 billion budget would make it unable to stand alone as a viable entity.

The department is still facing huge cuts in the upcoming comprehensive spending review (CSR), which could cripple attempts to meet UK climate and clean energy targets.

The newspaper quotes senior sources at DECC confirming Whitehall rumours that the Treasury have been seeking to axe support for low-carbon technologies in the CSR, in addition to cuts already announced earlier this year.

In particular, the pot of money for funding four carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects, set up by Mr Huhne’s predecessor Ed Miliband, was said to have been at risk – though the paper reports:

“Senior sources concede the money for CCS4 was in jeopardy but insist that it is now safe.”

It is not yet known if other clean energy funds, like the renewable heat incentive, designed to support renewables energy schemes, will survive the cuts. Equally, it is not yet known if the Green Investment Bank that has been promised by George Osborne and Vince Cable will have any public money inside it. Without public finance, it would be completely ineffectual.

With so little money, and facing regular attacks from Tory right, Mr Huhne was limited in what he could say in his speech to Lib Dem conference yesterday. He promised an energy efficiency drive and that by the end of the parliament Britain would boast the “fastest growing” renewable industry in the European Union. But other European countries’ renewables sectors are already so large that this wouldn’t be as difficult as it sounds.

All this comes after The Guardian reported yesterday that the coalition has dropped two of its other key green election pledges – one to tackle illegally logged timber, and another to support green energy pioneers. In turn, these u-turns followed the putting on hold of the coalition’s totemic green pledge to introduce new regulations to limit carbon pollution from new power stations.

Environmental campaigners have also attacked the coalition for breaking with the US and Europe and failing to introduce a moratorium on risky deep sea oil drilling off Scotland despite the fact that the independent reviews into the Gulf blowout have yet to conclude. Greenpeace lawyers have threatened to sue the government over this, and the groups’ activists are currently blocking a Chevron deep drilling attempt off Shetland.

32 Responses to “Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds”

  1. Shamik Das

    Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds: http://bit.ly/c5wwMQ reports @jossgarman on @leftfootfwd

  2. Joss Garman

    'Greenest government ever' considering shutting climate ministry altogether… Just blogged: http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9

  3. Daniel Mitchelmore

    RT @leftfootfwd: Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds: http://bit.ly/c5wwMQ

  4. klimate kid

    RT @leftfootfwd: Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds: http://bit.ly/c5wwMQ

  5. Nicholas Ripley

    RT @leftfootfwd: Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds: http://bit.ly/c5wwMQ reports @jossgarman

  6. Billy Blofeld

    Call-me-Dave is saddled with his “I’ve been to the North pole on a husky image”

    ….. he needs to break with the vote winning green politics and base policy around the science.

    Mind you – if politicians can’t tax air, or rain, it must be very tempting for them to tax us on the fear of natural climate change. This scam is a politicians dream.

  7. Casper ter Kuile

    RT @jossgarman: 'Greenest government ever' considering shutting climate ministry altogether… Just blogged: http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9

  8. Guppi Bola

    RT @leftfootfwd: Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9

  9. AdamRamsay

    Guppi Bola guppikb

    RT @leftfootfwd: Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9

  10. Anthony Zacharzewski

    “vote winning green politics”

    And what would that be, then? Higher petrol prices, wind farms, more cycle lanes? All of them opposed by large chunks of the current Conservative base.

    Politicians aren’t being green (where they are) because it’s an easy vote-winner. They are doing it on the basis of a real, credible threat to our prosperity and way of life.

    But then, I would say that, wouldn’t I? I’m probably in the pocket of Big Research, that sinister multinational cabal of scientists that is trying so hard to wipe out neighbourhood mom-and-pop oil companies like BP.

  11. Pen

    RT @leftfootfwd: Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds: http://bit.ly/c5wwMQ reports @jossgarman

  12. Gloria

    RT @jossgarman: 'Greenest government ever' considering shutting climate ministry altogether… Just blogged: http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9

  13. Lucy Pearce

    RT @jossgarman: 'Greenest government ever' considering shutting climate ministry altogether… Just blogged: http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9 <<Oh my…

  14. Khairun Nisa

    RT @jossgarman: 'Greenest government ever' considering shutting climate ministry altogether… Just blogged: http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9

  15. Deborah Doane

    RT @jossgarman: 'Greenest government ever' considering shutting climate ministry altogether… Just blogged: http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9

  16. Ma

    RT @jossgarman: 'Greenest government ever' considering shutting climate ministry altogether… Just blogged: http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9

  17. Billy Blofeld

    @Anthony

    Call-Me-Dave didn’t get on his sledge for a photo shoot in the Artic for nothing.

    The useless windmill on his roof was all about creating a likeable image too.

    Cycling to work with a car following behind was another bit of green theatre.

    Gordon personally flying in “early” to try and save the Copenhagen summit and look statesman like – ho! ho!

    Green politics is about two things:

    1. Trying to win votes and personal publicity.

    2. Sneaking tax increases out under the cover of our collective guilt. After all who can object to taxation which is shielded by the plight of fluffy polar bears.

  18. Neil Hamilton

    UK Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9

  19. Gordon Gibson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds: http://bit.ly/c5wwMQ reports @jossgarman

  20. Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean … | Welcome2Green

    […] the rest here: Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean … This entry was posted in Green Politics and tagged fear, Green News, Green Politics, […]

  21. Josh Wyndham-Kidd

    RT @jossgarman: 'Greenest government ever' considering shutting climate ministry altogether… Just blogged: http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9

  22. Sahar Mirhadi

    RT @leftfootfwd: Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9 @hammyg13

  23. Paul Barasi

    RT @leftfootfwd: Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds: http://bit.ly/c5wwMQ reports @jossgarman

  24. SSP Campsie

    RT @leftfootfwd Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds: http://bit.ly/c5wwMQ reports @jossgarman

  25. New Internationalist

    RT @leftfootfwd: #UK Treasury trying to shut down climate department & axe clean energy funds: http://bit.ly/c5wwMQ @jossgarman

  26. Sam Roger

    RT @newint: RT @leftfootfwd: #UK Treasury trying to shut down climate department & axe clean energy funds: http://bit.ly/c5wwMQ @jossgarman

  27. Mr. Sensible

    So much for ‘the Greenest Government Ever…’

  28. Chris

    LOL!!! So its looking like Cameron’s green wash agenda is being diluted even further, not that I ever believe any of his pathetic stunts; cycling to parliament followed by a 4×4 carrying his Savile Row suit and shoes wasn’t very convincing. So, Nick Clegg obviously thinks its progressive to leave your children an earth overheated and polluted.

    @Joss Garman

    Can I ask what you think of the LibCons decision to allow regional airports to expand, such as the recent decision over Bristol Airport? Wouldn’t it have been better to allow large airports, i.e. Heathrow, to expand but stop smaller ones; diverting money into high speed rail for internal travel.

  29. Danny Carrington

    RT @leftfootfwd: Treasury trying to shut down climate department and axe clean energy funds http://bit.ly/ad7Ns9

  30. Joss Garman

    @ Chris:

    The High Court ruled in the dying days of the last government that the then aviation policy (to expand virtually every airport in the country) was untenable ‘both in law and common sense,’ mostly because it failed to take into account the Climate Change Act.

    The Committee on Climate Change – the government’s independent advisers on how to hit carbon targets – have said that it would be possible to expand some airports and still hit UK climate targets but only if you scrapped expansion elsewhere and delivered MASSIVE cuts in pollution across other parts of the economy. Needless to say, there are currently numerous expansion plans – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Bristol and several other places – and we’re not seeing the necessary cuts in other sectors, like in the power sector, so we are nowhere near being able to hit climate targets and therefore obviously shouldn’t be expanding airports anywhere.

    What’s clear is that the new coalition need to go back to the drawing board on aviation policy because as you rightly point out, it is completely wrong for the coalition to scrap plans for growth at Stansted, Heathrow and Gatwick but then for there to be expansion by the back door at regional airports.

    That said, putting all of this aside, the case for Heathrow’s third runway has been completely destroyed both in economic and environmental terms – critical issues being not just climate but noise, air pollution and community destruction and the fact that the economic case never stacked up. (That’s why The Economist and even the former head of BA opposed the plan.)

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