24 Jul 2010

Stop the ConDems U-turning on coal

I've covered the Greenpeace campaign against Dirty Coal before - see for example here - and how capture is a myth (see here). Remember Kingsnorth? The proposed site of the UK's first new coal fired power station in over 30 years? Thousands of us lobbied successfully to stop it happening, and the plan was shelved last year.

Photo: Coal at Bekonscot Model Village

The bad news is that the spectre of new coal-fired power stations - at Kingsnorth and around the UK - may be looming again. We were told by both Tories and Lib Dems that a tough, new Emissions Performance Standards (EPS) for power stations that they would introduce would stop the dirtiest coal-fired power stations, like Kingsnorth, from ever being built. Last month the PM promised to introduce an EPS so strong that "a new generation of unabated coal power plants could not be built in this country."

However here is what Greenpeace say: "The Energy Bill is expected in the autumn but ministers are deciding what will go in it now. Our sources in Whitehall tell us the government is planning to include EPS in the Bill, but we need to let them know that we expect them to adopt a strong standard - that we are watching and we intend to hold them to their promises. We urgently need you to help us put pressure on new Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne, as the man responsible for introducing the Bill. Please write to him and insist his leaders keep their election promises, and introduce a tough EPS which will end the days of dirty unabated coal power forever." Go here to sign letter.

Update 16/08/10: The coalition is watering down a commitment to tough new environmental emissions standards, raising the possibility of dirty coal-fired power stations such as Kingsnorth going ahead. Green groups are aghast that a flagship policy called for in opposition by both Lib Dems and Tories, and which they last year tried to force on the Labour government, will now not be implemented in the coalition's first energy bill to be published this year. See:
Guardian 16th Aug 2010

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