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Saturday, February 22, 2003

Friends of the Earth has produced an summary of what is expected to be contained in the next week's Energy White Paper from the UK government. It is expected to contain some relatively good news for backers of renewable energy, to delay making any decisions on the building of new nuclear power stations + to avoid setting emissions targets that are backed by money from the UK Treasury.

The Energy White Paper was initiated because in 2000 The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) published a report on climate change, which said that the UK needs to cut emissions of carbon dioxide by 60% from 1990 levels by 2050.

The Government is known to be concerned about the security of the UK's energy supplies given that our reserves of gas and oil are declining and could expire within the next 25 years. By 2010 we will be a net importer of fuels for the first time since the Industrial Revolution.

The White Paper is therefore intended to set out Government thinking on how to achieve a low carbon economy while at the same time ensuring that the lights stay on and our economy is not damaged by the shock of rapidly rising energy prices.

Friends of the Earth hope that there will be measures that encourage greater energy efficiency, make ordinary consumers + airlines pay more towards their environmental impact of the fossil fuels they use + stimulate a public debate as to the role of the nuclear industry [which FoE bitterly oppose] in future energy policy....