September 13th 2009
Alan Whitehead MP has inserted a crucial amendment into the Energy Bill, which has just passed all its House of Commons stages. The Bill, if it also passes in the Lords, will help to significantly reduce the UK’s domestic carbon emissions from energy generation.
Dr Whitehead’s amendment to Clause 8 of the Bill (schemes for reducing fuel poverty) aims to ensure that the “benefits” which clause 8 would require energy suppliers to give to fuel poor customers, would include non-financial benefits such as advice and home improvements like insulation. In response the Minister said that it was his intention that the drafting of the Bill did cover non-financial benefits, but said that he would check again with the lawyers and support amendment of the Bill if their advice had changed.
Speaking after the report stage of the Bill Dr Whitehead said;
“I am delighted that the Minister has ensured that my amendment will be made to the Energy Bill if necessary. It is vital that the law provides for the full range of measures to help those in fuel poverty, both financial and non-financial.”
The Test MP also supported a number of other amendments to strengthen the Bill and increase its effectiveness, speaking out in favour of Carbon Capture and Storeage – a revolutionary new technology to harness the emissions from coal and oil-fired power stations.
Speaking in the House of Commons chamber Dr Whitehead said:
“[this debate] is about whether a very good existing policy on carbon capture and storage should be strengthened, or whether, in seeking to strengthen it, we could end up with no carbon capture and storage, and no coal plants, at all.”
Commenting on the debate afterwards Dr Whitehead said:
“As a long-term campaigner against climate change and UK carbon emissions I believe that the UK must reduce its dependence on dwindling fossil fuels. However, I also believe that it is vital that we keep the lights on and plug the energy gap that the UK will face in 2020 while we increase our use of renewables. Carbon Capture and Storage is a proven technology that will allow us to do just that without damaging our emissions reduction targets. I will continue to do all I can to support its development.”
What do you think about this story? Email Alan