Former environment secretary warns UK will miss energy target

Kate McCann
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Owen Paterson
THE UK will miss a key legally-binding energy emissions target in 2050 unless it builds a new Hinkley Point nuclear power station every three years, the former environment secretary Owen Paterson MP claimed last night.

Giving an address to the Global Warming Policy foundation, Paterson warned that the UK’s current plan to use alternative energy sources rather than coal would cost £1.3bn by 2050 and fail to meet the nation’s energy needs – threatening energy security.

“Current energy policy is a slave to flawed climate action,” he said. “It neither reduces emissions sufficiently nor provides the energy we need as a country. In the short and medium term, costs to consumers will rise dramatically, and the lights would eventually go out… because of structural failures, from which we will find it extrem­ely difficult and expensive to recover,” he added.

Conservative MP Paterson was secretary for environment, food and rural affairs for two years and has called for the government to scrap the Climate Change Act. In his address, he accused the last three energy secretaries – Labour leader Ed Miliband and Lib Dems Chris Huhne and Ed Davey – of “regressive” policies resulting in huge bills for people on low incomes. Miliband vowed to freeze energy prices in his speech at the Labour party conference last year.

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