THE ENERGY WHITE PAPER
215. The Energy White Paper, published on 24 February
2003, has been long-awaited, not least by ourselves. Sir David
King told us that the aim of reducing emissions to 60% of their
1990 levels by 2050 was new and a very real objective.
It is a very admirable objective but we were looking for some
very real policies to give us confidence that the objective was
achievable. We have looked in vain. Brian Wilson was right to
say that it is not all about new funding, but new funding and
new incentives are still very important.
He told us that it firmly restated the target of 10% renewable
generation by 2010.
We expected more than restated aims. While we agree with many
of its sentiments, we remain disappointed with the White Paper,
largely because that is what it is, a document full of sentiments
with few practical policy proposals that give us any confidence
that its targets (and aspirations) can be met. It has ducked a
central issuewhether to provide a future for the nuclear
power industryand failed to give a lead. On the specific
issue of RD&D, it makes all the right noises but fails to
pledge any further investment nor provide any further direct incentives
to industry to do so. RD&D investment in the UK is set to
remain at the bottom of the international league table.
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