Last night, instead of the usual Monday night meeting, Birmingham Friends of the Earth welcomed national Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Guy Shrubsole, to talk about energy policy and the current Clean British Energy Campaign.
Guy started by giving a run down of the current national political context. This included discussion on how the Treasury is influencing Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) policy, getting DECC to adopt positions more sympathetic to the use of gas as an energy source by threatening cuts to renewables subsidy. Guy also spoke about the cabinet reshuffle, and how new ministerial appoinments make us further question the government’s claim to be the Greenest Government Ever!
The presentation then moved onto the importance of the Energy Bill itself and the opportunities it presents to campaigners, as it is supposed to set the priorities for investment in new energy infrastrcture. Guy talked about the absence of measures to reduce overall energy demand, and of targets for percentages of electricity produced from renewable sources.
Guy then talked about the Clean British Energy campaign in a little more detail, including the current campaign aims and the Day of Action on 13th October, where Friends of Earth groups around the country will organise photo stunts to highlight the potential for green jobs in the UK economy. This was followed by a general discussion of the campaign both locally and nationally. After interesting and stimulating discussion campaigners headed to the pub!