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WWF - Treasury has ‘staged a coup’ on UK energy policy

Commenting on the recent announcement by DECC on measures to ‘provide certainty’ to gas investors 1, Keith Allott, head of climate change at WWF-UK, said: "The Treasury and George Osborne appear to have staged a coup on UK energy policy, and the fact that this decision was sneaked out suggests that Ed Davey is - rightly - embarrassed by it.“A new dash for gas will destroy the UK's leadership on climate change and will leave UK citizens at the mercy of rising and volatile fossil fuel prices. It’s staggering that the Treasury is bending over backwards to support a fuel that is to blame for 80% of the recent hike in energy bills.

“Investment certainty is needed - but for clean renewables, not dirty fossil fuels. George Osborne's blinkered approach risks leaving the UK's stuck on the starting line in the global race to a clean economy."

WWF said that a recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report 2 warned that a new ‘dash for gas’ would result in greenhouse gas emissions consistent with a long-term global temperature rise of over 3.5°C. The IEA said that increased use of natural gas could “muscle out” low-carbon fuels, such as renewables and said that “an expansion of gas use alone is no panacea for climate change."

Notes to editors

1. DECC: press release: Davey sets out measures to provide certainty to gas investors (17.03.12): http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn12_025/pn12_025.aspx

2. IEA: IEA special report explores potential for ‘golden age’ of natural gas (06.06.11): http://www.iea.org/press/pressdetail.asp?PRESS_REL_ID=415

For further information, please contact:

George Smeeton, Tel: 01483 412 388, Mob: 07917 052 948, email: GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk

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