|"Weasel words" from Climate Change Minister Amber Rudd on fossil fuel subsidies|
Councillor Andrew Cooper, the Green Party’s Energy Spokesperson responded to Conservative Ministers speech on climate change today by describing her attack on “left wing anti capitalists” influence on Climate Change Policy as a smokescreen
“In the few short weeks since the Tories were elected we have seen cuts for support to the solar industry, cancelling of high energy efficiency standards for new homes, cancellation of the minimal support to householders through the Green Deal and an abandonment by Government of the Green Investment Bank. We are now told by the Minister that the problem with climate change policy is “left wing anti capitalists". This can only be described as a highly cynical smokescreen by the Conservatives. When Ministers are in a very weak position it is not an uncommon tactic for them to go on the offensive rather than have to defend the undefensible. This is what we have seen from Amber Rudd today”
“The only rational explanation for the Tory assault on policies to address climate change is that there is a covert strain of climate change denial in the Conservative Party and particularly in the Treasury. If Government policy is being driven by an unscientific climate scepticsm then the Government should come clean and not hide behind paranoid, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.”
“What Green Business wants is the same as what all businesses want and that is certainty and not a Government that continually chops and changes the rules. If we are to seriously address fuel poverty, insulate millions of homes and build the renewable sector we need to provide us with stable prices and clean energy then Government has a big job to do to regain the confidence of businesses. The Government has provided certainty and support for the fracking industry, for the oil and gas sectors and the nuclear industry yet it has abandoned the thousands of people employed in the green energy and building industries.”
Councillor Cooper responded to the Ministers claim that the "UK Government does not subsidise fossil fuel consumption" - "These are clearly weasel words. What the Government does subsidise to the tune of billions of pounds is fossil fuel production. In the March 2015 budget the North Sea Oil and Gas sector received over £1.3Billion of tax breaks. Does the Minister really believe we have such short memories?"