Top UN environment scientist Jacqueline McGlade has criticised cuts in support for renewable energy pushed by Energy and Climate Secretary Amber Rudd and her department as sending a “perverse signal” ahead of the Paris climate change conference in December.
McGlade, a former head of the European Environment Agency, is the most prominent international expert to join the mounting criticism of the UK’s solar and wind subsidy cuts.
Speaking to Roger Harrabin of the BBC this week ahead of the preparatory climate meeting currently taking place in Bonn, McGlade said: “What I’m seeing worldwide is a move very much towards investment in renewable energy. To counterbalance that, you see the withdrawal of subsidies and tax breaks for fossil fuels.”
She continued: “What’s disappointing is when we see countries such as the United Kingdom that have really been in the lead in terms of getting their renewable energy up and going – we see subsidies being withdrawn and the fossil fuel industry being enhanced.”
Cuts in renewable subsidies, coupled with tax breaks for oil and gas, sends the wrong message in the lead up to the Paris climate conference, McGlade said; just as the world is rushing towards clean energy the UK appears to be running away.
“It’s a very serious signal,” she said, “a very perverse signal that we do not want to create.”
Photo: International Council for Science via Flickr