Australian news, and some related international items

Fears that UK environment bills could be sidelined in Tory leadership race

 Greg Clark is now being given the task of deciding on the proposed
Whitehaven coalmine in Cumbria but has not worked in the department for
years. On Thursday the government also announced it was postponing for a
second time a decision on whether to approve the £20bn Sizewell C nuclear
power plant in Suffolk.

The treasury, with its new chancellor, Nadhim
Zahawi, is to decide whether to go ahead with a windfall tax on oil and gas
companies. A decision on this is due next week, and while it is a popular
measure with voters it is unknown whether Zahawi will press ahead with it,
and whether he will remove the loophole that would provide tax relief for
new oil and gas.

There could also be a wait of some time for a government
response to the fracking review. The British Geological Survey has given
its report on the safety and feasibility of fracking to the Department for
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), but the results will not
be seen until the government responds to it, with BEIS sources saying they
do not know when that will be.

BEIS will also have to deal with the cost of
living and energy crises, with insulation measures and direct support for
the poorest households the most urgent priority. The energy security bill
is also coming, with an opportunity to overhaul the energy market so the
low cost of renewable electricity feeds through to consumers.

UK’s policy director, Doug Parr, said: “No matter how dire things may
seem in Westminster right now, when it comes to the climate crisis things
risk getting much worse without immediate action. However, delays to
decisions on whether or not to backtrack on coal and build a new mine, or
waste untold time and money on a new nuclear power station that will only
distract from genuine energy solutions, could be taken as positive, if they
were set to be given the green light as rumours suggest. “This
parliamentary reset must deliver a new prime minister that will take bolder
action on climate and nature. They must invest in real solutions like
cheap, clean, homegrown renewables and fixing the vast number of cold,
damp, energy-wasting homes. If not, we may lose even more time and find
ourselves in a far worse position than we already are.”

 Guardian 9th July 2022


July 11, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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