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Church calls for action on emissions

21 December 2012

THE Government must make amendments to the Energy Bill currently being debated in the House of Commons, in order to protect the "fuel poor" and "decarbonise" the country's energy supply, the Church of England's environment campaign has said.

A briefing for MPs, produced by the C of E, the Methodist, Baptist, and United Reformed Churches, and the Quakers, argues that the proposal to delay, until 2016, the setting of a target for reducing the emission of carbon dioxide by 2030 "fails to reflect the urgency of the situation we face" (News, 30 November).

It also warns that the complexity of Contracts for Difference - a mechanism designed to incentivise investments in low-carbon energy - might deter small generators. It calls on the Government to include in the Bill a mechanism to encourage energy efficiency that could help households to reduce energy bills. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has estimated that fuel poverty will have affected almost four million people in 2012.

"It is important that demand-reduction measures . . . are central to the Energy Bill and the Government's overall energy strategy," the briefing concludes.

The Energy Bill, published in draft form on 29 November, sets out plans for radical reforms of the electricity market.

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