Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, has the following response to the launch of the Government’s Energy Security Strategy, out today:
“This feels like we’re taking one very small step forward and several giant leaps back. This economically and environmentally illiterate Strategy proposes new North Sea oil & gas fields which do absolutely nothing to lower household bills, a review to lift the ban on climate-wrecking fracking, and a swathe of painfully slow to construct and vastly expensive nuclear reactors.
What is most revealing about this Strategy is what is missing. There is a gaping wide hole on energy efficiency and demand reduction – which should have been filled by a home retrofit revolution, a mass roll-out of improved insulation and electric heat pumps to keep homes warm and slash household bills. And bowing to Tory backbenchers by refusing to end to the moratorium on onshore wind, which is almost six times cheaper than gas, is utterly shameful.
Not only are these solutions staring us in the face, but in this year of COP Presidency, the eyes of the world are on us too. Handing out new fossil fuel licences, when we should be sending a message that no new oil & gas developments or fracking wells are compatible with keeping below 1.5C heating, flies in the face of all the Prime Minister’s rhetoric at COP26 last November. As the UN Secretary-General made clear following this week’s IPCC report, investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is ‘moral and economic madness’.
We are at an unprecedented moment for energy security, climate stability and a mounting cost of living crisis. Yet all three challenges demand the same solution: a war-time mobilisation to pivot away from dependence on dirty fossil fuels towards efficiency and the clean, green, cheaper energy of the future. This was a crucial test of Johnson’s leadership – and he’s flunked it.”