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Wednesday 25th April 2012 | 00:01
The UK Government must demonstrate real global leadership at a key international clean energy summit it's hosting this week in London by committing the nation to an electricity system free from dirty and expensive fossil fuels by 2030 , in line with what the majority of British people want, Friends of the Earth said today.
Earlier this week Friends of the Earth launched its Clean British Energy campaign with a survey showing 85 per cent support an increase in clean British energy from the wind, sun and sea.
But despite rising household bills driven by wholesale gas costs and warnings from the Government's official climate advisor about the consequences of failing to decarbonise the UK's electricity sector, Ministers have failed to act. Earlier this year they fired the starting pistol for a new dash for gas, which will keep the nation hooked on fossil fuels for many years to come.
The environment charity is also urging David Cameron, who is due to speak at the energy summit on Thursday, to boost the Coalition's diminishing environmental credibility and show he's still serious about leading the self-styled 'greenest Government ever'. The Prime Minister has not made an environmental speech since coming to power.
The Clean Energy Ministerial , where Ministers from 23 leading economies will discuss ways to accelerate the transition to clean energy technologies , is a golden opportunity to help nations around the globe to plug into renewable energy such as solar, wind, wave and tidal power. This could bring electricity to the 1.3 billion people currently without power worldwide and the 2.7 billion people who are forced to use polluting fuels for cooking and heating.
Friends of the Earth is also calling for the world's richest nations to promote and finance the use of genuinely clean, renewable energy , not biofuels grown on an industrial scale or so-called 'clean' gas and coal power plants for which the technology is yet to be proven on a commercial scale , with the aim of a creating a 100 per cent clean global economy by 2050.
Friends of the Earth's Policy and Campaigns Director Craig Bennett said:
"This summit is a golden opportunity for the Government to show clear international leadership on clean energy , developing home-grown sources of power will tackle soaring fuel bills, boost British manufacturing and create thousands of jobs.
"There's huge public support for clean British energy , over 85 per cent want the UK to develop our huge renewable power potential.
"Over a billion people are currently without access to electricity worldwide , rich countries must help developing nations plug into the power of the wind, sun and sea to build a cleaner energy future."