Gummer, WFC And The Curious Case Of Nuclear Power
By Paul Homewood
John Gummer, now Lord Deben, has been chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, which advises the government on matters relating to climate change policy.
He is also, as we now know, a Council Member for the World Future Council, according to their website, and, as such, one of 42 members responsible for policy making.
One of the WFC’s “Policy Action Plans” is to phase out subsidies for nuclear fuel. Indeed, their publication, “The Sky’s The Limit”, makes clear their real attitude to nuclear power, calling it a “Risky or Unsuitable Option”, (along with, interestingly, Biomass and Carbon Capture).
I don’t suppose any of this will come as any surprise. However, it all rather puts Gummer in a rather embarrassing position. After all, much of the UK government’s climate change and energy policy is centred around big increases in nuclear power capacity.
And to attract potential investors for nuclear, the government is to introduce what are known as “contracts for difference” for nuclear power generation, as well as renewables. Put simply, these are guaranteed prices, to be funded by energy users. In other words, subsidies!
(The full detail is in the recently published Energy Bill).
Gummer’s role at the WFC is clearly at odds with government policy and his Chairmanship of the CCC, and he should resign from the latter immediately. He should also explain why he has failed to declare his WFC membership in his Parliamentary Register of Interests.
I have an FOI out with the DECC, to see just what they know about this matter, and have also sent a written complaint to the Commissioner of Standards at the House of Lords, asking for an investigation.
Watch this space!