Energy and food security is critical to levelling up – The Yorkshire Post says

MINISTERS do deserve credit for taking steps to ensure the supply of CO2 in order to safeguard food production during the current energy crisis.

The Government is taking action to prevent food shortages.

They would not have been thanked if any ambivalence on the part of Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, and others, had led to food shortages – and the panic buying witnessed at the outset of the Covid pandemic.

But the decision to provide temporary financial relief to Teesside-based CF Fertilisers to help them to meet their running costs buys the Government time – and little else. After all, this short-term crisis precedes the imposition of new green energy taxes that will place another burden on such businesses – especially if the global upheaval in gas prices continues.

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Given this, The Yorkshire Post reiterates its call earlier this week for joined-up government to protect the national infrastructure as it faces a series of unprecedented strains as the UK’s departure from the European Union coalesces with the worldwide recovery from the Covid pandemic.

Kwasi Kwarteng is the Business Secretary.

Too often, Ministers risk becoming fixated by day-to-day crises at the expense of the longer-term strategic planning, advocated by their civil servants, and a need for greater energy self-sufficiency. As such, the forthcoming COP26 climate change summit – and new-found impetus when it comes to levelling up – is a reminder about the importance of this region’s ambitious plans to place itself at the vanguard of a green energy revolution.

After all, levelling up – the empowerment of people and communities in deprived areas – can only happen if Britain has a robust infrastructure apparatus in place that includes reliable, and affordable, energy.

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