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
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