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MPs vote down energy target

07 June 2013


MPs voted against setting a decarbonisation target in the Government's Energy Bill on Tuesday, despite a campaign by churches and charities urging them to do so.

An amendment tabled by the Conservative MP Tim Yeo, which would have obliged the Government to ensure that carbon emissions from power companies were re- duced to zero by 2030, was defeated by 290 to 267 votes in the House of Commons.

Shortly after the vote, Christian Aid's senior adviser on climate change, Dr Alison Doig, said: "MPs have increased confusion for the industry, destabilised investment across our energy sector, and put into question the Government's commitment to the UK's climate change target. . .

"We believe this is too important to give up on. There is time for this decision to be put right, and for clear signals to industry to be put in place. The impact of climate change, and our unsustainable thirst for fossil fuels, is already threatening some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people."

The Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, and the United Reformed Church issued a joint statement before the vote, calling on MPs to vote for the de- carbonisation measure. The General Secretary of the Methodist Church, the Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, wrote to every Liberal Democrat MP, urging them to support the amendment.

Isabel Carter, who chairs the charity Operation Noah, said last Friday that the amendment would be "critical to reducing the UK's reliance on imported fossil fuels, creating new jobs in the renewables sector, and meeting the UK's legally binding cuts to emissions from fossil fuels. . . Without this amendment we lock ourselves in to a new generation of gas power stations, which investors and operators will expect to remain operational for 15 to 20 years."

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