Richard Black, Director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) commented on the excellent appointment of Greg Clark as Secretary of State for Business.
Black said “Greg Clark is an excellent appointment. He understands climate change, and has written influential papers on the benefits of Britain developing a low-carbon economy.
“Importantly, he sees that economic growth and tackling climate change are bedfellows not opponents – and he now has the opportunity to align British industry, energy and climate policy in a way that’s never been done before.”
On the abolition of the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Richard Black said: “The disappearance of DECC as a stand-alone government department will of course raise concerns that the UK is going to ‘go soft’ on climate change.
“However, Theresa May has assured Conservative MPs that her government will continue to be an international leader on climate change, and it would be odd not to continue with that when all the most important new trading partners in our post-Brexit world, such as China, India and the United States, are themselves making massive investments in a clean energy transformation.
The most pressing questions are domestic: what will the government do to restore the shot confidence of energy investors?
“They’re demanding consistency, transparency and long-term planning – and over the last year, they haven’t had it. And how can the economic advantages of a clean energy transformation such as jobs and export potential best be realised?
“Creating this new department opens up the exciting option of an innovation and industry strategy that enables companies in the clean energy supply chain, including steel, to expand and thrive together. But they’ll need a strong British market. Within the last few months, the National Infrastructure Commission and energy industry big cheeses, through Energy UK, have said that the UK should continue building a smart, flexible low-carbon grid – so there’s a clear pathway laid out for ministers, and the rationale for following it hasn’t changed a bit.”