Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has delivered an emotionally charged speech at the Liberal Democrats Party Conference this week, depicting a future Britain that must lead the fight on climate change in Europe, while enduring three decades of fracking.
Davey (pictured, last year) describes a Liberal Democrat Party that must remain united in its ongoing role as “challengers of the establishment,” a party that will rescue Britain from “Labour’s economic disaster,” while already creating “the biggest success of this Parliament,” the fair tax policy.
The greatest challenge, suggests Davey, is proving to people that the Liberal Democrats have not changed after five years in coalition with the Conservative Party.
To prove this, Davey describes that from within a Tory majority parliament, the Liberals have campaigned and bargained for greater opportunity with reforms to income tax and pensions, “especially for women,” while creating thousands of apprenticeships for younger people.
The energy minister made no mention of his party’s U-turn on opposing a rise in student tuition fees – an electoral promise that gained them a large proportion of the youth and student vote.
Britain has also undergone a dramatic change in energy and climate. Davey aimed to portray the Liberal Democrats as an outsider party, separate to the “vested interests” that undermine the other two party’s policies. He described the Lib Dems as leaders of a “renewable energy generation,” a party that tackles the big six energy companies and who is “winning [the debate] in Europe.”
Moreover, argues Davey, the Lib Dems have made Britain “the world leader in offshore wind and tidal power,” but claimed the country must invest in the controversial gas exploration method known as fracking in order to bridge the gap between coal and complete renewable power.
But Davey made no mention of solar power or the ongoing law suit filed against his department by the Solar Industry for his illegal legislation that dramatically undermines the development of the clean energy source. His department has already lost two previous cases brought against them, and was forced to pay millions in compensation.
Davey continued by attacking Labour’s creation of an energy market dominated by the big six energy companies, an issue that has proven obstructive to his party’s apparent dedication to lowering people’s energy bills.
Davey then promised to extend the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund that allows for the free instillation or donation towards double glazing in colder homes.
At the end of his speech, Davey referred to the global climate deal currently being discussed by government. He recognised that for that deal to be a success, major commitments are needed in order to achieve the respective cuts in Carbon emissions set out by the ISPCC to avert catastrophic consequences.