Government must take control of decarbonisation agenda

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25 Feb 2019
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GMB, the gas union, has today called on the Government to take control of the decarbonisation agenda.

The union will write to Minsters urging them to ignore a recent report by the Committee for Climate Change which recommends a ban on gas boilers in new homes from 2025 - doing real damage to the climate change debate in this country. 

Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer, said:

“GMB will be writing to the Government calling on it to take control of the decarbonisation agenda.

“The way the Committee for Climate Change has put forward its recommendations is totally unacceptable.

“These are not decisions that can be made by technocratic committees.

Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer

“There has been no democratic discussion or input from the UK electorate into what is a huge challenge facing our country. 

“The way the continued decarbonisation of the UK economy should happen has to change fundamentally if the UK is going to up its game to meet our commitments under the Paris Treaty.

“The voting public has to be involved in the economic issues that link directly to the political decisions on how decarbonisation of our economy is to proceed. 


“We need to evolve to a future where we have reliable, reasonably priced, ultra-low or zero carbon energy sources with subsidies to be paid to investors to achieve this transition coming from general taxation. 

“The UK will need increased renewable energy sources which will require subsidies to be paid to investors.

“The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) states that by 2021 the total value of these subsidies will equate to £12 per week on every UK household’s energy bills. GMB says that it is unfair to the lowest paid, so should be paid from general taxation - a fairer and more progressive system. 

“The UK will need a fleet of at least six new nuclear power stations for the reliable energy they will guarantee on the one in six days on average that there is little or no wind.

“The UK will also need gas as a stepping stone fuel to meet carbon emissions reduction targets for the foreseeable future, for central heating of homes and cooking. 

“Asking the 25m households in the UK with gas central heating to scrap a perfectly good heating system and replace it at a cost of at least £10,000 per property, as well as to then incur future energy bills three times higher than current gas bills, is only something that can possibly be done after extensive democratic debate and votes in Parliament.


“That is to say nothing about where the power would come from to replace gas - estimated to be at least five times higher than current electricity demand across the nation. 

“Economic issues involved in political decisions have to be made explicit and final decisions should only be made after thorough democratic debate and decisions made in Parliament.

“These are not decisions that can be made by technocratic committees.

“The Government should ignore this recommendation as it does real harm to the decarbonisation debate.” 


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