Last modified: 15 July 2009
Image: Daniel Pullan
A renewable energy revolution in the UK is long overdue – that is the view of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, National Trust and the RSPB as they respond to the Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy.
The three organisations have issued a joint statement recognising the devastating impact climate change will have on the UK’s landscapes and wildlife and pledge their support for ‘rapid and deep cuts’ in greenhouse gas emissions.
Together they have backed the drive to generate 15 per cent of the country’s energy from wind, wave, sustainably sourced biomass and solar power by 2020, while protecting its natural and historical environment.
All three welcome the Government’s proposal for a strategic approach to renewables planning and for extra investment in the planning system to cope with the expected rise in planning applications.
The statement reads: “A renewable energy revolution in the UK is long overdue. We look forward to working with Government to ensure this takes place within the timescale needed to tackle climate change; that it happens in harmony with the natural and historic environment and respects sensitive landscapes; and that harnesses the support, skills and enthusiasm of local people and communities.”
Ruth Davis, Head of Climate Change Policy at the RSPB, said:
“We must harness our abundant wind, wave and solar energy to avoid the dangerous climate change that threatens our wildlife. At the same time, we must protect the environment from the blight of bad developments.
“It is a difficult balance and the only way to succeed is through a properly planned approach with a strong lead from Government.
“Many of the proposals in this strategy promise to deliver a sustainable energy revolution. The RSPB will work with this and future Governments to help ensure we can have the renewable energy we need and the wildlife we love.”
Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said:
“We strongly welcome the Government's commitment to listening to local communities when deciding on renewable energy infrastructure. Plans for renewable energy should reflect local choices about what mix of technologies is appropriate and where infrastructure should be located. We also support the Government's plans for a properly resourced planning system, which can make publicly credible decisions on the strategic siting of renewables.
“CPRE supports a major increase in renewable and low carbon energy generation, alongside an equally major reduction in energy consumption. But there will be no public consent for renewable energy infrastructure if it is centrally imposed or causes great damage to the beauty and tranquillity of England's countryside.”
Peter Nixon, Director of Conservation at the National Trust said:
"The National Trust is already taking positive and practical action to save energy and is replacing polluting fossil fuels with renewable sources of heat and power across many properties. We have 123 installations in place to help reduce carbon emissions, supported by our energy partner, to include ‘green’ technologies such as solar panels, biomass boilers and air source heat pumps with more initiatives planned.
“Climate change is already having a significant impact on the properties and landscapes in our care. We support the Government’s renewable energy strategy which recognises the value of the UK’s natural environment and landscapes and the crucial role planning has to play in safeguarding these assets. Much more needs to be done to reduce overall energy demand and boost local energy generation to help safeguard the UK’s wildlife, countryside and heritage for future generations.”
To see the joint statement, click on the link to the right.
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