Green Party in England & Wales
ADVANCE NOTICE: CAMPAIGN LAUNCH
"Green Energy Works"
Embargoed until 19.30 Thursday 19 January 2006
Presentation by Councillor Andrew Cooper, Thursday 19 January 2006 7.30pm Vida Walsh Centre, 2 Saltoun Road, by Windrush Square, Central Brixton, SW2
Greens 'Ask For More' from energy review
New campaign aims to prove the UK want green energy not nuclear power
The Green Party is today launching a major energy campaign and calling for people to subscribe in their millions to green energy tariffs and to apply for what Greens have labeled the 'woefully small' new round of grants available to householders and business wanting to generate their own green energy.
The campaign, 'Green Energy Works' (see www.greenenergyworks.org.uk), will be launched at a public meeting in Lambeth. Cllr Andrew Cooper, Cabinet Member for Housing and Property on Kirklees Metropolitan Council, will be speaking about his trailblazing success in gaining a commitment by Kirklees Council to include 30 per cent renewable energy generation in all new public buildings in Kirklees.(1)
Green Party Principal Speaker Keith Taylor said: "The Greens want the public to use their consumer power to send a message to the government and energy companies that they can't ignore - that we want more investment in energy-saving and renewable energy, not more nuclear power stations. This campaign has two primary targets: for two million people to sign up to renewable energy tariffs by the end of 2006; and for the new Low Carbon Buildings fund for microgeneration grants to be used up within months of their launch in March. (2)
"As part of our campaign, we will be launching a public consultation on energy. Numerous studies have shown that the public is far more wary of nuclear power than has been portrayed. (3) It is therefore vital that the govenment listen to public and pressure group opinon on nuclear power, but it seems clear that the DTI Energy Review - to be launched on Monday - will not do this. Instead it seems set to replicate the faults of 'GM Nation' in 2003, in particular coming before relevant studies have published their findings - in this case the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management, which is not due to report until after the DTI consultation has finished, in July.
Councillor Cooper said: "Current targets for renewable energy are spectacularly unambitious. The government is aiming for 10 per cent of electricity generation in the UK by 2010. Across Europe, the target is 22 per cent. With a converted programme of investment in new technology we could do even better than that.
"The fact that green energy works - providing more power, with less carbon dioxide, and with more local jobs than other methods - is already being shown by progressive governments around the world. In Denmark, more than 20 per cent of electricity is already generated by green technology and the country aims for nearly 30 per cent by 2010.
"In the UK, progressive councils such as Kirklees and Woking have shown that with energy-saving measures and small-scale renewables, such as wind turbines and solar panels, homes and workplaces can become self-sufficient or even net exporters of electricity, and can dramatically reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. Now we need to see real leadership from central government on these issues.
"It is quite clear that Tony Blair has already made his mind up to push for the expansion of nuclear power. But if 10 per cent of households and businesses sign up to green electricity, and the new green grants are exhausted within months, we can show the government that we want our 2010 target achieved now, and much more investment put into new renewables capacity for the future."