DECC has been scrapped!

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), previously headed up by new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd, has been scrapped by incoming PM Theresa May. In a massive reshuffle, May has announced a new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), headed by Greg Clark MP, in a merger between The DECC and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

What will change now the DECC has gone?

Not much information about the department has been released yet but it will be interesting to see in what ways the new department differs from its predecessor. Although there has been a recent commitment to carbon reduction targets, with the pledge to shut all coal powered plants by 2025, Amber Rudd’s DECC have arguably had limited success in delivering any real change. This shows in the September 2015 Government Major Projects Portfolio released last week. The department has shown itself to be inflexible in its blind promotion of fracking and failure to educate the public on any potential dangers of the technology. With public support for fracking at an all time low, and the Conservatives’ reluctance to diversify from nuclear (with faith placed in new power plants which are looking unlikely to deliver on time) it is still unclear what coal will be replaced with. Experts are warning of an approaching energy gap because of successive governments’ failure to provide a realistic long-term plan.

Greg Clark comes from a business background so it’s unclear what his appointment is grounded on, in terms of environmental matters. It’ll be interesting to see how/if all the different strands in the department’s name come together in any cohesive way…

What about climate change?

It also hasn’t escaped our notice that the words ‘Climate Change’ are nowhere to be seen in the department’s name – has it been left out in the reshuffle? Has responsibility moved to DEFRA? Will the new government deny its existence altogether?!

What are our hopes for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy?

Hopefully BEIS will they manage to do what others have failed to and prevent an energy gap. Who knows – maybe they’ll even embrace renewables in order to keep the lights on…

Think we missed something? Do you have a different opinion?

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