Energy secretary Edward Davey has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to renewable energy as a powerful means to stimulate investment and create jobs, as well as combatting the effects of climate change.
Speaking at a symposium at the Royal Society in London earlier today, Mr Davey said: “In reality, those who deny climate change and demand a halt to emissions reduction and mitigation work, want us to take a huge gamble with the future of every human being on the planet, every future human being, our children and grandchildren, and every other living species. We will not take that risk.”
Mr Davey also highlighted the global economic opportunities offered by renewables, pointing to “a boom market of £3.3 trillion, growing at 3.7% a year, with investment in renewables outpacing that in fossil fuels. For our businesses this means opportunities, for our governments tax revenues, for our people jobs, for our societies insulation from the volatility of fossil fuel prices. So this drive for low-carbon energy is a real engine of growth for hard-pressed economies around the world.”
Wind and marine trade body, RenewableUK, welcomed the minister’s comments.
Chief executive, Maria McCaffery, said: “This clear commitment from the secretary of state chimes perfectly with the continued high level of public support we see for renewables, with two-thirds of the population regularly supporting wind energy. It is further proof that those who oppose reductions in carbon emissions are increasingly sidelining themselves on the margins of the debate, as overwhelming scientific evidence points to the damaging consequences of climate change if we fail to diversify our energy supply. In the UK, onshore and offshore wind already reduce carbon emissions by more than six and a half million tonnes a year.
“As the energy secretary has stated, the economic argument for building a new low-carbon economy is just as important as the clear environmental case. Major investment decisions are being made around the world, and we must continue to attract investment in the UK, so that British workers and manufacturers benefit from it. If the government listens to industry and gets the details of the Energy Bill right this year, we can safeguard those benefits.”