The bid to include a 2030 decarbonisation target in the Energy Bill has been defeated in the House of Commons, by 290 votes to 267. Tabled by Tim Yeo MP and Barry Gardiner MP, the amendment called for near carbon-free electricity generation by 2030. A number of coalition MPs backed it and the government's majority was just 23.
Green campaigners were dismayed, but saw some cause for optimism. Nick Molho, head of climate and energy policy at WWF-UK, said it was "really disappointing that the decarbonisation target was rejected so narrowly." He slammed the "coalition’s mixed messages" on the low carbon energy market that "sent damaging signals about the UK’s commitment to our legally binding climate goals."
He added: "However, with the Government scraping by with only 23 votes, MPs from all parties have sent a powerful signal that they are not convinced that the Coalition’s crude compromise is best for Britain. This issue is sure to return in the House of Lords where Parliament will have another opportunity to put it right."