Boris says UK won't be subjected to Putin blackmail over energy
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Eleven countries issued a strongly-worded statement on Thursday, April 7, calling for a renewed push for EU energy independence. They want the bloc to become independent of Russian fossil fuels as soon as possible by speeding up the green transition towards EU climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest.
Signatories include Denmark, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, Spain, Luxembourg, Latvia, Sweden and Slovenia.
But France, which has been critical of the EU’s climate ambitions, has not backed the statement.
EU wrangling contrasts with Britain’s push to energy independence with its Energy Security Strategy unveiled this week which includes a fleet of new nuclear power plants.
In response to France’s position, Express.co.uk reader Dump truck wrote: “Macron throwing his dummy out of the pram again.”
Fellow reader RSHANNON3 said the French President was “brain dead”, chiming in: “He is so jealous of the UK, that is what fuels his absolute hatred of us.
“When we turn the tables, he runs away like the silly little boy flying his white flag of surrender back to granny. A total waste of space.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed on Thursday that “nuclear is coming home” and suggested a new reactor would be built every year in a social media video to promote the Government’s plan.
The UK strategy also includes an aim to double the goal of 10GW of low-carbon hydrogen production by 2030, with at least half from so-called green hydrogen, produced from renewable electricity rather than natural gas.
But Jock-the-scot raged: “Instead of ramming the forced Carbon Neutral fantasy down our throats our government should use all the fossil fuel reserves available to the UK including Fracking to get Britain back on its feet again ASAP and only after doing so they should encourage us to be self sufficient with regards Energy and stop peddling the GW lies that they currently use to fool the gullible…
“[Y]es we can be greener but not until the economics and security of the UK allows, this world is to (sic) dangerous a place right now to let the green environmentalist minority threaten us here in the UK still further.”
Under the strategy a £30 million competition to manufacture heat pumps will be launched with ambitions to increase solar capacity with a consultation on the rules around solar projects.
A new licensing round for North Sea oil and gas projects is planned for the autumn to cover the “nearer term”.
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There was scant evidence, however, of a reversal of Tory opposition to cheap onshore wind and nothing new on making homes better insulated to cut gas demand.
The Government said it would not introduce wholesale changes to planning regulations which have effectively halted development of new wind farms in England.
However, it will consult on developing partnerships with a limited number of supportive communities which want to host new onshore wind infrastructure in return for guaranteed lower energy bills.
Mr Johnson said onshore wind farms are controversial because of their visual impact, saying new sites will have a very high bar to clear.
Speaking at Hinkley Point C, Mr Johnson said the energy strategy will deliver on offshore wind and revive the nuclear industry.
He added: “This [energy strategy] is about tackling the mistakes of the past and making sure that we are set well for the future and we are never again subject to the vagaries of the global oil and gas prices and we can’t be subject to blackmail, as it were, from people such as Vladimir Putin, we have energy security here in the UK.”
The Prime Minister said people were being helped with the cost of living through other Government policies, including a £6 billion energy efficiency fund as well as support for heat pumps.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told broadcasters that due to political squabbling the strategy leaves out important initiatives such as insulating homes, which he said can make a huge difference, reducing bills by up to £400.
He said Labour is calling for “turbo-charging” renewables, including onshore wind, fast-forwarding nuclear, developing hydrogen and insulating homes to help people reduce bills.
Dame Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “There is a major missing piece of this strategy: energy efficiency.
“Improving the energy efficiency of homes in this country can help bring down bills right now.
“It means safer, warmer homes and it protects people from future price spikes.”
She warned consumers should not be left to pick up the tab if nuclear projects were late and over budget.
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