UK leads world in clean energy, says Davey

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Energy secretary Ed Davey tells international government ministers that the UK 'stands for ambitious action' on climate change

Energy secretary Edward Davey has told a world renewable energy gathering that the UK is ‘at the leading edge’ of clean energy technology.

In his opening speech at The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), currently being held at Lancaster House, London, he remarked that the UK began pioneering environmental legislation as early as the 1950s and continues to make great strides in green energy generation.

The CEM is being co-chaired by Edward Davey for the UK and US secretary of energy Steven Chu. Ministers from 23 leading economies are gathering this week to explore global progress being made in clean energy initiatives and discuss greater collaboration.

Davey said: “The UK was home to the industrial revolutions that drove prosperity – and pollution. The steam engine may have been invented here, but so was the term ‘acid rain’.

“By the 1950s, air pollution became so bad here that London’s infamous smog reduced daytime visibility to less than a metre. So we passed the Clean Air Act – one of the world’s first pieces of environmental legislation.

“Sixty years later, we are proud to be at the leading edge of the clean energy revolution. We have carbon budgets all the way out to 2027.

“Through what we call the Green Deal, we are creating a new nationwide market in energy efficiency, to make our homes and businesses less wasteful. We’re putting clean energy at the heart of our electricity system, reforming our market to let low-carbon sources compete on cost. And we are running a competition to launch the world’s first commercial scale Carbon Capture and Storage plant.

“So my message today is a simple one: the UK stands for ambitious action on climate change. We will work with our partners to deliver a cleaner, safer energy future for our citizens – and a vibrant green economy for our businesses.”

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