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Last modified: 25 July 2012
Image: Andy Robinson
Today’s Renewables Obligation announcement is good news for the renewables industry, but it has highlighted the division within the Government over the UK’s commitment to meeting its own climate targets, says the RSPB.
Harry Huyton, RSPB Head of Climate Change Policy, said; ‘Whilst the promise of continued support for wind energy is to be welcomed, a light has been shone on the division within the heart of government over the UK's commitment to leading global efforts to avoid dangerous climate change.
‘Today’s decision to maintain support for wind power at a viable level offers the renewables industry and our common fight against catastrophic climate change temporary respite. But, the rift in government over climate change policy has to be overcome. We need to change the way in which critical decisions that affect all of us and the future of the planet are made.’
The RSPB says the fresh commitment to fossil fuels, including a new half a billion pound fund to support gas extraction in the UK, threatens the ability to meet future targets to reduce carbon emissions. The RSPB has also long campaigned against biomass power plants, and says current plans for this sector would lead to the UK importing and burning 33 million tonnes of wood [note 1], threatening wildlife and undermining the climate change benefits of renewable energy.
Harry continues; ‘We had also hoped for decisive action to prevent new forest burning biomass power plants from being constructed in the UK. A cap on the amount of biomass power is to be welcomed, but all now depends on the level of the cap, which government is yet to decide on. We believe that the only sustainable level that the cap can be set at is zero.’
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