Suffolk MP Tim Yeo leads energy bill rebellion

Tim Yeo

Tim Yeo - Credit: PA

Suffolk MP Tim Yeo will today lead a House of Commons rebellion to impose a strict carbon reduction target on the power sector by 2030.

The chair of the Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee said he had the backing of many Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs and the vote was likely to be “close”.

Mr Yeo, a former environment minister, has tabled an amendment to the government’s energy bill would force electricity generators to remove coal-fired and gas-fired power stations from their networks by 2030, unless those plants were equipped with machinery to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions.

He said the amendement would send an important signal to investors to put money into low-carbon energy infrastructure “without which we might find there is an electricity shortage”.

The government has been accused of sending out mixed signals, with chancellor George Osborne expressing support for a new “dash for gas” instead of a drive toward renewables and other low-carbon technology in the 2020s.

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But Mr Yeo said: “It is really simply to bring about what the government said it wanted to do, which is to reduce gases.”

The target was recommended by his cross-party committee when it looked at the legislation last year.

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The government’s own climate advisers have backed the target to cut emissions by 2030 and said that investing in low-carbon power such as wind farms and nuclear reactors in the 2020s could save consumers billions of pounds compared to relying on gas.

A total of 49 MPs have signed the amendment including the Labour Shadow Energy team and a number of Lib Dems and Conservatives.

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