Green Tory & LibDem MPs May Rebell Over UK Energy Bill

  • Date: 29/11/12
  • Oliver Wright, The Independent

Pro-green Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs are considering a plan to defy the Government and rebel over the Coalition’s compromise Energy Bill.

The Bill, which is published tomorrow, is expected to fall short of demands by environmentalists that it should commit the UK to cut carbon emissions produced by generating electricity to a specified level by 2030.

But in a move which will dismay Conservative ministers a cross party group of MPs led by the members of the Energy and Climate Change Committee are considering tabling an amendment to the Bill to re-introduce the commitment.

With Labour and back-bench Liberal Democrat support the move could potentially have enough backing to defeat the Government in the Commons. Even if it failed there it could be reinstated in the House of Lords where campaigners believe they have a majority in favour of the move.

Speaking to The Independent Tim Yeo, the Conservative chairman of the Energy Committee said such an amendment was a “real possibility”.

“I think it would most likely be done at report stage in the New Year but I think there could be a worthwhile debate about amending the Bill to introduce a target range for emissions from the energy sector by 2030,” he said.

Liberal Democrat sources said Government ministers would almost certainly be whipped to vote against any amendment. However they added that the 2030 target had been agreed as policy by the party’s conference in October and backbenchers might be free to support it.

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