Investigation: What's Going on With UK Energy and Climate Policy?

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After Energy and Climate Secretary Amber Rudd failed to mention the Paris climate conference in her speech at the Conservative Party Conference and more solar farms announcing closures due to government policies, the question on everyone’s mind is “what’s going on?”

That is why DeSmog UK is excited to announce that it will be launching a dedicated investigation into the ‘who, what, where, when and how’ of the government’s flailing energy policy.

It seems that climate change does not rank high in the list of government priorities. This was first demonstrated during May’s general election where the topic was basically not an election issue (unlike the previous one where Prime Minister David Cameron placed a strong emphasis on the environment). Then, at the Tory Party Conference, climate change was barely mentioned.

So, with less than two months to go before the Paris COP21 climate conference and a government where fossil fuel-friendly Chancellor George Osborne seems, more than anyone else, to be calling the shots, it’s time for some answers.

The government claims to not be choosing the winners but its actions seem to indicate otherwise: renewable energy is being pushed aside for fracking, nuclear and CCS – all things which are taking an awfully long time to be realised in Britain (unlike wind and solar, two sectors that are taking off around the world). The UK says it is a leader on climate change, and yes there have been many commendable achievements, but current lack of emphasis leads many to question this assertion.

Understanding how and why these decisions are made and who the key influencers are is crucial in achieving meaningful commitments in Paris in December. Indeed, it’s one of the main reasons why DeSmog UK was launched one year ago.

Over the next seven weeks we will chronicle our efforts and share our findings. So stay tuned and please get in touch if you have any ideas or questions for us. And, as always, stay up to date by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo: Kate Ter Haar via Flickr

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Kyla is a freelance writer and editor with work appearing in the New York Times, National Geographic, HuffPost, Mother Jones, and Outside. She is also a member of the Society for Environmental Journalists.

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