Conservative Party Conference: Energy Secretary’s speech

The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Claire Coutinho, delivered a speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester today. Reacting from the Manchester conference centre, Jamie Peters, climate lead at Friends of the Earth, said:

“The Energy Secretary‘s speech has only reinforced her government’s abysmal record on climate, by parroting much of the Prime Minister’s recent and incredibly divisive rhetoric. Any hope that her appointment to the post would result in a more measured approach has now completely deteriorated.

“With the government’s recent backtracking on climate, the UK is increasingly unlikely to meet its legally-binding national targets and international goals. This is a huge blow for our climate progress and preparedness, and hampers the global effort to prevent the worst of climate breakdown.

“The paltry amount in extra funding for insulating the UK’s heat-leaking homes doesn’t come anywhere close to what’s needed to bring down bills and slash harmful emissions, either. By choosing to extract every last drop of oil and gas from the North Sea through hundreds of new licenses, the government has shown where its loyalties lie – with the oil and gas industry that’s fuelling the climate and energy crises. This will only keep us hooked on costly fossil fuels for longer, while doing nothing to ease the cost of living crisis or promote green growth.