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No fears for low carbon energy policy, says MP

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House of Commons energy and climate change committee member James Heappey, has said there is no cause for concern about the impact of the Brexit vote on UK’s climate change and low carbon energy policies. 

Wells MP James Heappey said that he does not believe the Brexit will lead to a change in the UK’s energy policy.

“I think our commitment to decarbonise is an international treaty. It’s not just something we have with the EU,” said Heappey, speaking at a discussion on the Brexit and energy policy organised by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. 

Heappey said that there was no reason to think the UK would not continue with existing measure to build connected infrastructure with European partners.

“I think all the things we’re doing with interconnection and energy union – there is a self-evident reason for doing those things. There is a mutual benefit to the EU and the UK for continuing that process.”

“I’m very comfortable with the loss of Climate Change as a named Whitehall department,”  he added. 

He hopes that joint responsibility for climate change across departments will lead to better coverage for the issue. 

“When you assign climate change to one department the other departments take it less seriously,” he added. 

But he suggested energy policy might suffer with a multi-brief minister.

“My concern is that if you bury energy in a much broader portfolio for a minister the easy option wins through at every stage. What it is about is just making sure the lights stay on and the bills stay down.”

Heappey also suggested that the country should continue develop the new nuclear fleet, with Small Modular Reactors serving as a replacement for that latest nuclear reactors in 25 to 30 years.




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