The Green Party Policy on Energy Prices

Over 1.5 million children are growing up in cold homes. Illness relating to fuel poverty costs the NHS over £1 billion every year, and we have a higher number of people struggling to pay their energy bills than every European country other than Estonia. Meanwhile, the profits of the Big Six energy companies doubled between 2008 and 2010.

For the past two years, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, has been a vocal supporter of the Big Six Energy Fix campaign, which is calling for a price cap and a public inquiry into the large energy companies.

We welcome the current party political and public debate about soaring fuel bills, and the structure of the UK energy market. Energy efficiency and transition to renewables should be central to the Government’s plans for the whole economy. The following paper sets out the Party’s vision for a low-carbon, affordable energy future, and summarises our position on the key policies announced by Labour and the Conservatives.

The Green Party’s vision for a low carbon, affordable energy future

We believe it is a scandal that the big energy companies are increasing bills and making large profits when many people are struggling with high bills and cold homes, and welcome the growing support for this view, sadly, by focussing on headline grabbing schemes, both main parties are sidelining meaningful solutions to the energy bill crisis:

Super Energy Efficiency

The only permanent solution to the energy bill crisis is to make all homes much more energy efficient – easy and cheap to heat so they become fuel poverty-proof. Doing so would also create hundreds of thousands of much needed jobs. Continue reading

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Why COP 19 fell woefully short of the urgent action we need

History was made at the UN climate talks last week – not by the achievement of a breakthrough in negotiations, unfortunately, but by the unprecedented walk-out by 800 civil society groups and trade unions.

Citing the appalling lack of ambition and commitment manifest at the 19th yearly session of the global climate change conference, NGOs blamed the lobbying from fossil fuel companies for impeding progress at the talks. As WWF put it, “Warsaw, which should have been an important step in the just transition to a sustainable future, is on track to deliver virtually nothing. We feel that governments have given up on the process.”

Their frustration was well founded. The industrialised countries like Japan and Australia used the talks to officially scale back their climate commitments, and the demands of poor countries for clarity on greater climate finance were stonewalled. At the same time, the EU’s credibility was undermined by its failure to increase its completely inadequate 20% greenhouse gas reduction target for 2020. Continue reading