Energy sector urges politicians to unite for net-zero

Energy sector urges politicians to unite for net-zero

29 November 2019

Stephen Cousins

Channel: Policy & regulation

Energy businesses, academics and trade bodies are among 40 organisations and individuals that have signed an open letter calling on political leaders to form a post-election pact on achieving net-zero.

The letter calls on the parties to display co-operation, compromise, collaboration and accountability, and to avoid "the trap of partisan ideology".

The letter came shortly before the UK's first televised climate and nature election debate and strikes by the UK Student Climate Network taking place on 29 November.

It asks political parties to adopt a cooperative bipartisan approach to the implementation of Net Zero after the election to ensure that carbon targets are met.

Signatories include Fintan Slye, director of National Grid ESO; David Smith, chief executive of the Energy Networks Association; Louise Kingham CBE, chief executive of the Energy Institute; Dr. Nina Skorupska CBE, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association; and Paul Ekins, professor of energy and environment policy at UCL Energy Institute.

The televised climate and nature election debate saw the leaders of the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, the Scottish National Party, and Plaid Cymru promote their plans to decarbonise the UK.

The Conservative leader Boris Johnson did not attend, sending Michael Gove in his place, but Channel 4 did not allow Gove - formerly environment secretary in the Johnson government - to participate in a debate for "leaders".  

The full text of the letter is as follows:

Open letter to party leaders: Post - election pact on climate change

If the past few years have taught us anything, it is that taking a divided approach to policy making is ineffective. It has led to stagnation and frustration within Parliament and across the UK. In this current political environment, we need to ensure that high priority issues such as achieving Net Zero and the wider climate change objectives do not fall into the trap of partisan ideology.

Only months ago, cross-party action saw the UK implement world leading Net Zero 2050 legislation. The principles of unity and cooperation are at the heart of the climate change movement and the point being made by the hundreds of thousands of protestors taking to the streets is that time is not on our side and therefore we need a joined-up, bipartisan approach to the Climate Emergency across political lines.

We, the undersigned, believe that urgent action is required to ensure that the UK meets our Net Zero targets and continues to lead the way on the international stage. For this to happen, the incoming government must be ambitious, coordinated and accountable. From the outset, the government and the opposition parties, whoever they may be, must work together to forge a path to Net Zero that is rooted in compromise and goes beyond party politics.

In light of this, we are calling for all parties to capture the spirit of cooperation they've successfully demonstrated in this sphere previously, and agree to a post-election pact on climate change, agreeing to work collaboratively, whether they are in government or opposition, to implement legislation and policy that achieves Net Zero by the agreed timescales, in a fair and inclusive way.

The UK will be at the centre of the international stage next year as we host COP26, giving the UK national and devolved governments, and political parties the opportunity to demonstrate this collaboration and cooperation in action.

Syed Ahmed, Chair of Community Energy London

Emma Bridge, Chief Executive of Community Energy England

Richard Burrell, Chief Executive of AMP Clean Energy

Dr. Jacqueline Edge, Multiscale Modelling Project Manager at Imperial College London

Prof. Paul Ekins, Professor of Energy and Environment Policy at UCL Energy Institute, Faculty of the Built Environment

Virginia Graham, Chief Executive of RECC

Neil Harrison, Director at Reheat

Chris Hewitt, Chief Executive of the Solar Trade Association

Jo-Jo Hubbard, CEO & Co-Founder of Electron

Louise Kingham CBE FEI, Chief Executive of the Energy Institute

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables

Alexander Maddan, Chief Executive of Agrivert

Miriam Maes, Chairman of the Energy Transition Forum

Alistair Martin, Chief Strategy Officer and Founder of Flexitricty

Hugh McNeal, Chief Executive of Renewable UK

Julian Morgan-Jones, Managing Director of South East Wood Fuels Ltd.

David Newman, Managing Director of the BBIA

Alasdair Peppe, Director of Dunster Biomass Heating (Scotland) Ltd

Charles Perry, Founder of Sustainable Future for All

Jonathon Porritt, Environmentalist and author

Jamie Reith, Business Development Manager of Scottish Woodlands

Darren Riva, Chief Executive of Capitas Finance

Simon Roberts, Chief Executive of the Centre for Sustainable Energy

Laura Sandys, Challenging Ideas

Dominic Schofield, Managing Director of Mint Green Sustainability

Dr. Nina Skorupska CBE FEI, Chief Executive of the REA

Fintan Slye, Director of UK System Operator, nationalgridESO

David Smith, Chief Executive of the Energy Networks Association

Prof. Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience Communication, The School of Earth, Ocean & Environmental Sciences at the University of Plymouth

Prof. Goran Strbac, Professor of Energy Systems at Imperial College London

Prof. David Strong, Chair of the REAL

Rory Tait, Partner at Lux Nova Partners

Linda Taylor, Group Marketing Director of AMP Clean Energy

Mark Thomas, Managing Director of Eco-fuels

Charlie Trousdell, Chairman of REA Organics

Duncan Valentine, Member Non Exec-Director of the REA Board

Joanne Wade, Deputy Director of ADE

Joe Warren, Managing Director of Powervault

David Williams, Chief Executive of Eco2

Louise Wilson, Co-founder and Managing Director of Abundance Investment

Martin Wright, Chair of the REA Board

 

DISCUSSION

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