No clean growth plan until autumn

Green groups worry delay will further undermine investor confidence

The long delayed clean growth plan will not be published until the autumn government’s climate change minister has confirmed.

The plan, which is meant to detail how the government will meet the emissions reduction targets outlined in the fifth carbon budget, was due to be published by department for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) last year.

The uncertainty resulting from its delay has already undermined investor confidence in low carbon energy generation, according to green groups.

Responding to a question tabled in the House of Commons by Labour MP Jim Cunningham, recently appointed minister of state for climate change Claire Perry provided a written answer stating that the plan would be published when parliament returns from its summer recess, which ends in September.

Perry promised however, that the plan would be “ambitious” when it materialised.

She said “We want the clean growth plan to be an ambitious, robust and clear blueprint for Britain’s low carbon future, and are working with colleagues across Government to ensure it meets these criteria.

Pedro Guertler, senior policy advisor at green energy thinktank E3G, urged the government to deliver on Perry’s three-fold promise for the plan.

He said “It must be as ambitious as it can be – this means it must set out to aggressively pursue and capture the massive energy saving potential in homes and businesses, and coordinate this with a serious and renewed effort to decarbonise heat supply. Sustained public sector investment to leverage in private capital through a long-term infrastructure programme can achieve this.

“The plan must be as robust as it can be. This means it must develop deep and meaningful connections with the Industrial Strategy and devolution agendas, to ensure all three policies are mutually reinforced. A powerful hedge against the worst effects of Brexit.

The Committee for Climate Change’s chief economist, Adrian Gault, added the the committee welcomes Perry’s assurance that the plan will be published after summer recesses. But said: “That plan is urgently needed to ensure the UK can meet the emissions reduction targets agreed by parliament. Of course, it is the content of the plan that matters. The Committee looks forward to providing its assessment in due course.”