Thursday, February 12, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 12th February 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: It is difficult to believe that David Cameron once promised that he would lead 'the greenest government ever'. In the 2010 coalition agreement, the government pledged that it would support 'British companies that develop and export innovative green technologies around the world instead of supporting investment in dirty fossil- fuel energy production'.

An investigation by environmental campaigning group, Greenpeace, has discovered that far from not supporting fossil-fuel energy production, the government has provided more than £1billion in loans to Russian company, Gazprom, Brazil's state- owned oil company and Saudi Arabian petrochemical companies. The largest loan by UK Export Finance (UKEF), a separate government department that reports to business secretary Vince Cable, was £447million to help develop a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia. Another loan of £330million was to Gazprom, a Russian government owned company, to help the transport of natural gas.

To move forward towards a zero carbon future, we need to invest in all the different forms of renewable energy from wind, solar, wave and tidal power to hydroelectric and geothermal technology. Taking advantage of all these technologies, together with energy saving programmes, will ensure that we keep the lights on.

Our government has an international commitment to take all the steps necessary to limit global temperature rise by 2°C. This will hardly be achievable if they are continuing to invest in the extraction of fossil fuels that must remain in the ground if we are to have any chance of achieving a reduction in global emissions.

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