New UK Prime Minister abolishes climate change department


[quote] May has amulgamated two government departments, the government’s climate change department and Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to form the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. [UK’s DECC issues 4th report on smart metering rollout]

The newly formed department is expected to take over all the responsibilities of the DECC. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will be led by former communities secretary, Greg Clark,  who served as shadow energy secretary of the Conservative Party from 2008 to 2010.

Clarke was reported saying: “I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change.”

DECC ‘axing’ effect on decarbonisation

Others have slammed May for the axing of the DECC. Ed Miliband, the former energy and climate secretary under Labour, called the move “plain stupid”.

While the DECC had “numerous policy mis-steps,” says James Murray at Business Green, “the bulk of them were the result of interference from a Treasury that is still yet to fully comprehend the essential nature of decarbonisation.”

He continued onto list several of the Department’s wins, namely, progress and success in “drastically reducing emissions.”  Investment in clean energy also hit “record levels” and credit has been given to the DECC for the UK’s phase out of coal. [Smart Energy Code – UK proposes way to test end-to-end smart metering]

According to the Huffpost Polictics, the decision to shut down the DECC was also criticised by the The Institute For Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank. The institute branded the move as ‘risky’ as it had the potential to “reversing ten years of progress on reducing the threat of global warming”.

Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, Angus MacNeil, told Utility Week: “I hope that Theresa May is not taking her eye of the ball as regards to energy. It is especially important around security of supply in coming winters – nothing ends a government or a prime minister faster than an energy crisis.”


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons