Posted on: 12/07/2016
Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom has stressed that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) won’t affect the country’s energy policy.
Speaking at trade journal Utility Week’s energy summit, she said: “With the people of Britain now having voted to leave the European Union, a change of great national significance is ahead of us.
“But when it comes to our energy policy, I would like to start by emphasising what will stay the same.”
Leadsom added: “There is no change to the challenges we face.
“As a Government, we remain fully committed to providing families and businesses with energy that is secure, affordable and clean.”
UN calls for UK to follow EU climate laws post-Brexit
Her comments came as the United Nations called for the UK to forge links with the EU on environmental policy even after the country leaves the bloc.
Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations’ Environment Programme (UNEP), told The Guardian newspaper that the UK should adopt the EU’s climate change legislation.
“The UK can relate to the EU’s climate decisions and be covered by them, just as Norway and Switzerland are,” he said.
“Norway brought its emissions into the Emissions Trading System (ETS) and adopted nearly all of the EU’s environmental law.
“You can coordinate closely with the EU even if you’re outside it.”
Energy Select Committee probes Brexit
Meanwhile, the House of Commons Energy & Climate Change Committee has launched an inquiry into how leaving the EU will affect the UK’s energy policy.
“Through this inquiry, the Committee aims to understand the implications of the UK’s departure from the EU on the UK’s climate-change commitments and ambitions, and determine which climate policy areas will need to be addressed during the UK’s exit negotiations,” the committee said.
“Withdrawal from the EU raises questions as to the UK’s position with respect to existing EU pledges and policies, and its future interaction with the EU bloc to fight climate change.”
A report by Cornwall Energy last week said the biggest short term impact of the Brexit vote on the energy sector is set to be an increased cost faced by developers of new generation due to a risk premium being priced in.
However, the paper also found that the majority of UK energy policy and regulation is determined at the domestic level and following the vote for Brexit, the UK is unlikely to see a shift away from the core policy objective of tackling the energy trilemma.
> Read Leadsom's speech