Monday, 15 December 2008

Ed Miliband speech- The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of a Department of Energy

The Department of Energy and Climate Change website, which is here, as opposed to here, is beginning to bear (low-hanging) fruit, if you're a really really sad anorak, that is.

There's a speech Ed Miliband made on Tuesday 9th entitled "The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of a Department of Energy." (As I type this, I can see the spoof potential...)

Depending on how seriously you take these speeches, it may be a good guide to the man's intentions, which may be some sort of guide to his actions, which may (just may) be some guide to his effects. But probably not.

It's kind of boiler-plate, I think. I'd be interested to know what the Deiter Helms, William Blyths and Rory Sullivans of this world think of it.

Miliband compares and contrasts with a speech Nigel Lawson (ironically dad of climate denier Dominic) made in 1982 and shows how under the enlightened leadership of our present Lords and Masters we are heading for the gentle uplands of sustainability (low carbon via nukes), security of supply (Malcolm Wicks is writing a report) and affordability (aka fuel poverty alleviation by asking energy companies pretty please).

In the biggest surprise since Barack Obama didn't nominate Noam Chomsky as his Secretary of State, we do not hear the words "demand reduction" in this speech. Or any acknowledgement of just how radical the cuts in emissions need to be starting today (well, preferably starting in about 1988 actually.) There's worthy stuff about energy efficiency and insulating houses, but nothing that would scare the horses, or investors. (Ironically, today's FT carries a stern editorial about the EU climate deal last week, but that's a subject of another post...)

Quotable quotes from the speech:
"Next summer we will be publishing our response to Lord Turner's recommendations on carbon budgets and we will have to show how we can decarbonise electricity in the years to 2050, substantially so by the 2020s- in other words, how we can reach teh zero option: near zero-carbon electricity by 2050.
"As Lord Turner argues, the best prospects lie in the trinity of nuclear, renewables and clean fossil fuels."

And the following, almost Churchillian in its stirring effects:
"Some might ask whether the effects of carbon capture and storage in the UK on the wider world is really a calculation for our energy policy or a responsibility for us. My response is to say that it is, because the costs for us, in this country, of the world not meeting its climate change commitments, are so grave."
And, to reassure us all:
"It is no part of my climate change strategy to drive the most vulnerable consumers into fuel poverty." [Note consumers, not 'citizens' or 'human beings']
Worth a read, if you're an anorak...

No comments: