George Osborne today finally made crystal clear exactly what he thinks of the green agenda and renewable energy economy - that unless he gets smacked round the head by a spinning wind turbine, which lets face it, may do some good to his outrageously deluded mind, he won’t give it the time of day, or night, or anything inbetween. It’s all about the gas my friends.
With his Autumn Statement came many expectations from the climate and energy hawks amongst us, and it’s pretty safe to say that effectively all of them came to fruition as he stood defiant and commanding at the microphone, with an air which seemed to suggest he knows what he’s doing, and what he’s doing is in the best interest of us all. May have to think again on that one George.
It’s no secret that Mr Osborne and fellow energy minister Ed Davey generally sit at either end of the scale when it comes to the future of renewable energy and a low-carbon economy in this country, with the Treasury becoming increasingly characterised as the evil, gas-guzzling, fund-slashing body that it pretty much is. All the while, Davey is effectively fighting an uphill battle on every aspect of energy policy within the coalition, and despite having what should be powerful and influential bodies backing him, such as DECC, BIS and the CBI, he is being consistently shortchanged.
I will admit just quickly however that what Davey managed to achieve with the Energy Bill announced just last week was most probably the very best he could have gotten out of such a confused and lost government, and in many ways there’s plenty to praise about it. Contracts for difference and a multi-billion pound fund set for low-carbon projects and the development of a single counter-party setting the price alongside a capacity mechanism which could work means there’s plenty of good things going renewable’s way.
There was of course a huge omission in the delaying of the decarbonisation target decision until 2016, and the idea of excluding carbon-intensive industry just boggles the mind, but considering what Davey was actually up against, I find it hard not to applaud him. When you’ve got people like John Hayes and George Osborne throwing their weight and silly statistics around it’s damn surprising he got anything done at all.
So it must be a real kick in the teeth, groin and all other areas to Davey to hear what the Chancellor has planned for the UK energy market over the coming years, whilst he fights even harder to produce the goods over in Doha. Undoubtedly he knew some, if not all aspects of the announcement today, but that can’t make it any easier.