The goalposts cannot be moved. We have a moral, legal, and economic duty to cut our emissions by 68 per cent of 1990 levels by 2030 and reach Net Zero by 2050.
I believe firmly that it is in our environmental, economic, moral, and – yes – political interests as Conservatives to make sure we lead on this issue rather than talk it down. We shouldn’t be coy about putting forward this positive vision.
“So I’ll have no truck with anyone saying we lack ambition. But there’s nothing ambitious about merely asserting a goal for a short-term headline without being honest with the public about the tough choices and sacrifices involved.”
“Can we be brave in the decisions we make, even if there is a political cost? Can we be honest when the facts change, even if it’s awkward?”
It’s time the Government saw the wood for the trees and stopped fritting away taxpayers’ hard-earned cash when so many key questions around this energy source remain unanswered.
Over-turning the ban may be a cause célèbre for the free market right. But any genuine effort to tackle our energy security problem is going to require both a massive programme of spending and the clunking fist of central government.
We face a situation where getting each project over the line is iteratively harder and no sooner is a project approved by the Secretary of State but a series of judicial reviews land from community groups.
The Government needs to be investing both in the next generation of nuclear power stations and developing the storage technologies needed to make renewables reliable.
Contrast the leisurely approach towards this allegedly extinction-level threat with the Government’s response to the pandemic.
As the party of business, we Conservatives must press those energy retailers to do the right thing, but if that approach fails, we must be willing to step in again to help firms keep the lights on.
It is absurd to set a strictly political timetable for the wholesale transfer of an industrial economy to unproven technologies.
Johnson’s defenestration and the war in Ukraine have fatally undermined the push for decarbonsation. But increasing our domestic energy supply will prove just as difficult.
Short-sighted overregulation and creative accounting to offshore our CO2 emissions are no way to build a prosperous, sustainable future.
Small Modular Reactions could also generate tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of billions of pounds worth of exports.
It would create a big guaranteed market for an important British industry and accelerate our drive toward Net Zero, at no cost to the taxpayer.