Saturday, 25 October 2008

The Renewables Campaign

Friends of the Earth will shortly be launching The Renewables Campaign which will focus on the EU Renewables Directive, which says that 20% of all EU energy should come from renewable sources by 2020. The UK government signed the Directive last year, but has proposed a 15% target.

The Government is now trying to undermine the target by proposing that:

· Countries could buy renewable energy credits from outside the EU.
 
· Carbon capture and storage (CCS) from fossil fuel plants could count.

· Extra concessions be granted for large-scale projects that are completed after 2020 to be allowed to count towards the target.

This would damage the development of green energy in the UK and beyond. Less than 2% of the UK's energy comes from renewable sources yet the UK has the potential to be a world leader on renewable energy and climate change. Carrying on with our old polluting energy systems whilst buying credits from outside the EU is not a solution. We need to start putting pressure on the Government.  

The campaign will launch at the Local Groups’ Conference in Loughborough in September and will run until March 2009.

We will be putting direct pressure on MPs, with a Renewables Day of Action on 25 October. This will be done in a similar way to The Big Ask – postcards signed by constituents passed on to MPs. The postcard will urge the MP to write to Gordon Brown asking him not to weaken the Renewables Directive. In December 2008 the European Energy Council will meet to decide on the Directive and we hope to influence that decision.

Showing MPs that the call for action is coming from across their constituencies, by making links with a broader section of our own communities. We hope to forge alliances with other community/faith/local groups and individuals - showing MPs that there is a broad level of support for strong renewable energy targets. This section of the campaign will take place in the latter part of the campaign and may also depend on the December decision of the Energy Council.