Its time for our Politicians to show some leadership and prepare us to cut energy use, much faster than they are contemplating at present. Thanks to an as yet unpublished EU report, we know that if we adopted more aggressive energy use targets, the UK would benefit to the tune of £62Bn and gain an additional 40,000 jobs. The big question is why has this data not been shared with the public and what is stopping us from reaching for these ambitious but vital targets? The speech by David Cameron a week ago did not include any real reference to the environment, yet this appears to be a win for all of us.
A 40% cut in energy use by 2030 through efficiency measures would increase the UK’s GDP by £62bn and create 40,000 new jobs. Hitting a lower target of 30% would create 13,000 jobs and boost the economy by £17.3bn, says the study by independent consultancy Cambridge Econometrics, obtained by WWF after an access to information request.
More information can be found in this article which goes on to state that a binding 30% efficiency target has been pencilled in for the EU agreement, which Germany and Denmark would like to see raised. The 30% number is opposed by the UK and Poland, however, on grounds of cost and states’ freedom to choose their own energy policy. This sort of attitude is as credible as the UKs refusal to sign up to legislation to strengthen equal pay for women. We refuse to agree to rules that would benefit us, simply because some of our politicians don’t want to be accused of pandering to the EU.
For my own part I would happily vote for a party that subscribes to the good rules and laws that the EU introduces, and only blocks the rules that would actually damage our economy. I would also vote for a party that was willing to take the lead on such important issues. It seems to me that 40,000 extra jobs and £62Bn are useful incentives for us to have for changing our priorities.