Electricity generated from coal in old power plants without carbon capture in the US would be banned in a proposal that will form the centrepiece of the Liberal Democrats’ commitment on the environment in its general election manifesto.
Ed Davey, the energy and climate change secretary, will announce on Monday that the zero carbon Britain bill will be among five green laws that the Lib Dems would demand in any future coalition negotiations.
The bill would include a decarbonisation target for electricity generation, an expansion of the powers of the Green Investment Bank and the banning of electricity from “unabated” coal – that is energy generated without using technology to capture and store the resulting carbon emissions.
The proposed law follows a commitment from the Department for Energy and Climate Change last month to close a loophole that could have seen public money invested in old coal power stations. Plants that invested in upgrades to cut air pollutants could have been eligible for subsidy deals under “capacity market rules” to guarantee the energy supply while coal and nuclear plants close.
The other green laws to be included in the Lib Dem manifesto are a nature bill, with legal targets on biodiversity and an extension of the right to roam; a heating and energy efficiency bill; a zero waste Britain bill and a green transport bill.
Davey said: “Liberal Democrats see our duty to protect our environment for future generations as a central political and moral challenge. This is not something we can, or should, try to sidestep. In this parliament, we’ve made a big step forward particularly on green energy, but other areas have not seen such progress. So we want to use the next parliament to make a major leap forward on the environmental agenda across the board.
“Our five green laws will focus on a range of environmental issues that people really care about – air quality for health, access to green space and tree planting. And we want to make it as easy as possible to go green and by introducing higher new standards, industries from construction through to waste, heating and transport will have to help us all become more sustainable – as many leading, innovating firms are already doing.”
By Nicholas Watt. Source: The Guardian