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The tension in Labour’s energy policy between prices and decarbonisation

20 April 2015

4:13 PM

20 April 2015

4:13 PM

There has always been a tension in Ed Miliband’s energy policy between its aim to get prices down via the price freeze and its desire to decarbonise the electricity market. That tension was on full display in the BBC Daily Politics Environment Debate this afternoon, the first of a series of policy debates chaired by Andrew Neil.

Flint had to clarify that the Labour manifesto wasn’t proposing the 100 per cent decarbonisation of the electricity market. She then had to dodge around the question of whether the green levies on energy bills would have to rise to make this happen. Matthew Hancock, the Tory spokesman for the debate, claimed that the Labour position would lead to a £96 increase in energy bills.

Ed Davey turned in a typically combative performance. He called on Ed Miliband to apologise for customers for his time as Energy Secretary, saying he had cosied up to the Big Six, and attacked Tory MPs as ‘dinosaurs’ who are anti-renewables.

The presence of Ukip’s Roger Helmer disrupted the consensus that climate change is man-made. Interestingly, despite the fury of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens at Helmer calling the link between human activity and climate change ‘highly speculative’, they were unable to succinctly explain why he was wrong.


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