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MPs criticise government’s short-termist national energy security plan



A report by the joint committee on national security strategy has criticised the government’s failure to deliver plans that offer a secure, long-term energy supply, given the recent events in Ukraine and the likelihood of more frequent extreme weather.

The committee said that the government should use the effects of climate change and the recent developments in Europe as motivation for a long-term national energy security plan. It also criticised the “no plan B attitude” and its “planning on the basis of what you want to achieve”.

Chair of the committee Margaret Beckett said, “The prime minister has been helpful and candid with us about his approach to national security and vision for the UK’s future, but we think he is too focused on managing current events at the expense of looking ahead.

“Recent events at home and abroad are a salutary reminder of the value of thinking about threats to our national security in the widest sense and of keeping a close eye on what is over the horizon.”

By focusing on the short-term, the report said, Cameron was not addressing the climate challenges that would arise, with floods becoming more frequent and recent events in Ukraine having a serious effect on European energy provisions.

Beckett added, “Worryingly, there is every sign that we are heading for another rushed job after the election and for a ‘motherhood and apple pie’ document that again avoids the big questions and is of little practical use in guiding government decision-making.

“That is not what this country needs at a time when resources are limited and we must focus on what is most important.”

The committee also warned that short-term policies and budget cuts would mean the UK could have less say on the global market.

Responding to the report, the Cabinet Office said, “We regularly take stock of the changing global environment and threats to our security, as well as the many opportunities for our country to make the most of all its assets and advantages”.

Photo: dlanor smada via flickr

Further reading:

Pressure on energy bills rises as national renewable power policy gets a makeover

Rising energy bills prompt David Cameron to announce green tax review

Budget 2014: government must stop spiralling energy costs, says UKGBC

Energy security, fuel poverty and social change: the lowdown on renewables

Conservatives pledge to end onshore wind subsidies


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