Cameron Says 2020s Decarbonisation Target “Extremely Unwise”

  • Date: 16/01/14
  • John McGarrity, Responding to Climate Change

A target to decarbonise the UK electricity sector by 2030 is “extremely unwise” because it would rule out fossil-fuelled electricity and carbon capture and storage, David Cameron has told a committee of MPs.

In response to questions from Parliament’s Liaison Committee, the Prime Minister said supporters of a decarbonisation goal need to tread with “great caution” in their support of targets that could prohibit new gas-fired and coal-fired power stations and risk energy security.

Cameron added that if the government fixed such a figure before the roll-out of carbon capture and storage technologies “that would be a huge mistake”. [...]

The Conservative Prime Minister, who faces a general election next year, was speaking a day after the government announced increased tax breaks for local authorities that allow fracking in Britain.

The government thinks the sector can attract £3.5 billion of investment, create 74,000 jobs and supply Britain with its requirements of gas for 30 years, but sceptics claim shale gas will despoil the English countryside, cause pollution and lock gas into the UK’s future energy mix.

Cameron said ”irrational” critics had become “religiously opposed” to fracking “because they simply can’t bear the thought of another carbon-based fuel being used”.

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