BSRIA has backed the comments made by the UN’s chief environment scientist, Professor Jacquie McGlade, who has criticised the cuts in support for renewable energy made in the UK and said that “we were shifting away from clean energy as the rest of the world rushed towards it”.
She said the cuts in renewables subsidies, coupled with tax breaks for oil and gas, sent a “worrying signal” to the coming UN climate summit in Paris. Professor McGlade said “the UK appeared to have abandoned its leadership on climate change, while 150 other nations were making unprecedented pledges to shift towards clean energy”.
She added that what she was seeing worldwide is a move very much towards investment in renewable energy and it is disappointing when countries such as the UK – that have lead the way with getting their renewable energy up and going – then have subsidies withdrawn and the fossil fuel industry enhanced. Professor McGlade said this sent the “wrong message” to other nations in the run-up to the Paris climate summit next month and to its preparatory meeting in Bonn this week.
Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, said: “Professor McGlade is quite right to make such comments. It’s a very serious signal – a very contrary signal that we do not want to create. Since the announcements of subsidy cuts in the summer, three solar firms have collapsed, more than 1,000 jobs have been lost in the clean energy industry and energy investors have started to drain away from the UK.
We understand that the government is committed to getting a global deal in Paris and meet its targets on carbon emissions in the most cost-effective way. BSRIA and its members will, therefore, eagerly await the outcome of the summit.”