More reports on: Environment

UK government scraps department for climate change action

16 July 2016

The UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) had been scrapped and its brief included in the newly created Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department. The formation of BEIS, which was announced yesterday following Theresa May's appointment as the new UK prime minister, added energy-related matters to the remit of its predecessor the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

DECC worked to ensure the UK had secure, clean, affordable energy supplies and promote international action to counter climate change. It had the support of eight agencies and public bodies - Ofgem, the Oil and Gas Authority, the Civil Nuclear Police Authority, the Coal Authority, the Committee on Climate Change, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management and the Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board.

Following his appointment yesterday as the secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark said: "I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government's relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change."

Ed Miliband, the former energy and climate secretary under Labour, described the move as "plain stupid".

The move comes at a time when campaigners were urging the government to ratify the Paris climate change deal.

In his statement, Clark addressed concerns about the priority given to tackling global warming.

Meanwhile, Andrea Leadsom, who ran against Theresa May for the Conservative leadership, has been appointed the new environment secretary.

The climate "sceptic" group Global Warming Policy Forum had long demanded the scrapping of the DECC, so some green groups, are alarmed over the development.

However, the truth was that decision to lump the DECC with business, energy etc could be seen as either a positive move for climate policy, or a negative one.

According to The Green Party and Friends of the Earth, for instance, the move was potentially a major downgrade for climate as a government priority.

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