The Scottish Government is to produce new legislation to tackle the threat of Climate change, a target for a 42% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (if other European Governments agree to a cut of 30%), rising to 80% by 2050, is expected to be included in the new Bill. These proposals are far more ambitious than those proposed in Westminster, where the 2020 target for cutting carbon emissions has been set at 34%.
The Scottish Government has already set out a wide-ranging vision to address climate change, which includes a drive to boost renewable energy such as wind and wave power. Scottish Ministers also aim to see significant progress in boosting the energy efficiency of buildings, increase the number of electric vehicles on the roads and aim to cut in emissions across the farming and rural sector.
This is serious forward thinking on the part of the Scottish government as energy experts have for several years been consistently warning of a serious future shortfall in Britain’s energy supplies, as a result of the rapid depletion of Britain’s North Sea gas reserves, the increasingly tough regulations on carbon emissions from Britain’s ageing coal-fired power plants and the planned decommissioning of 14 of 15 existing nuclear generating stations by 2025.
Imagine what we could do if the National Assembly possessed similar powers to develop the alternative energy sector here in Wales. In Wales, we need real direction when it comes to the development of safe and secure energy resources, power generation can provide the potential for real sustainable long term job opportunities; the renewable energy sector can and should play an immensely important role in creating more green energy jobs.
Beyond this there is a need to unify the power generation and supply companies into a single entity, preferably run on a not for profit basis, in the interests of the inhabitants of the UK rather than big businesses. It is becoming increasingly clear that it was sheer irresponsibility or a matter of sheer self-interest (it's worth having a look to see who (Conservative Minster wise) got what directorships after privatisation) for successive Government to leave the energy sector largely and effectively unregulated as the private energy companies have proved themselves almost entirely incapable of making long term strategic decisions that are necessary to provide us with safe and secure energy.