Flint criticises ex-Minister’s ‘lights will go out’ warning

SHADOW Energy Secretary Caroline Flint has accused the Conservatives of being “in denial” about climate change after it emerged a former Minister will claim efforts to cut carbon emissions could put electricity supplies at risk this week.

Caroline Flint

Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will argue that flawed attempts to meet European emissions targets are preventing the UK developing a proper plan for the future of electricity generation in a speech to a think-tank set up by former Chancellor Lord Lawson.

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Mr Paterson, who lost his job in a Cabinet reshuffle earlier this year, will say: “The current energy policy is a slave to flawed climate action. It will cost £1.1 billion, fail to meet the very emissions targets it is designed to meet, and will not provide the UK’s energy requirements.

“In the short and medium term, costs to consumers will rise dramatically, but there can only be one ultimate consequence of this policy: the lights will go out at some time in the future. Not because of a temporary shortfall, but because of structural failures, from which we will find it extremely difficult and expensive to recover.”

Ms Flint, the Don Valley MP, said: “Owen Paterson’s latest outburst points to the growing climate change denial in the Tory party. The fact that David Cameron appointed him as Environment Secretary for two years makes a total mockery of the Prime Minister’s promise to lead the greenest government ever.”