Writing to your MP about the Energy Bill

This page has information to help you write to your MP if you haven't contacted them already about the amendment to put a 2030 decarbonisation target in the Energy Bill. If you've already written, and they've replied to you - it's time to write again! 

Information for writing again to Conservative MPs

Information for writing again to Lib Dem MPs

It's been a long wait, but the date for MPs to vote on a clean power target in the Energy Bill has now been set for 4 June.

Will the Energy Bill support the UK to cut carbon emissions or open the door to a fossil-fuelled 'dash for gas'? MPs will soon have the chance to vote on an amendment which would keep the UK within its legally binding climate change targets. The government would have to set  a limit on CO2 emissions from electricity by 2030 in line with the recommendations of the independent Committee on Climate Change.

Why is it important?

With the climate changing, we have no time to lose in putting the brake on our CO2 emissions. This target would give certainty to investors in the UK to start the shift to clean energy. The alternative is to lock in reliance on expensive gas for the UK's energy, smashing our climate targets.

Who supports it?

The list of organisations supporting a 2030 decarbonisation target is impressive. Because it makes economic as well as environmental sense, it includes many businesses - not all known for their tree-hugging tendencies, four of the Big Six energy companies are among them! Infographic

Who doesn't?

George Osborne originally blocked the target from the Energy Bill. David Cameron is also opposing it. Two of the Big Six energy companies have come out against the target, Centrica and RWE/npower.

Who's dithering?

Lib Dem party members have voted to support a 2030 decarbonisation target, but in order to get the Bill into Parliament, energy minister Ed Davey struck a deal with George Osborne and took the target out. Some Lib Dem and Conservative MPs have signed up to the support the amendment (check here to see if yours is one of them). Others may be willing to rebel, but they need to feel the strength of the public's support.

Take action!

Thousands of people have already written to their MP to ask them to support clean energy and say no to Osborne's 'dash for gas' - in particular to support this amendment to the Energy Bill that would limit carbon emissions from our electricity sector.

We're asking our supporters to take 10 minutes to write something a bit more detailed, in their own words. You can use an online tool - Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace or Stop Climate Chaos, or find your MP's email and postal address here: https://findyourmp.parliament.uk/

Remember if you've written to your MP already and received an answer, then there's nothing to stop you replying to them again - either to challenge them or thank them for their commitment.

Suggested points you can make:

The Committee on Climate Change are responsible for advising the Government on how the legally binding emissions reductions targets can be met. They have stated the carbon emissions from electricity generation will need to be cut to 50gCO2/kWh by 2030:

  • If these reductions are not achieved, either greater cuts will be needed elsewhere or the Climate Act will simply have been abandoned.
  • The Department for Energy and Climate Change have not provided any convincing explanation of how these cuts elsewhere would be made, nor how the emissions from power generation could be cut rapidly after 2030.

Stress the urgency of the climate crisis

  • Clear indicators of a destabilised climate are appearing sooner than even climate scientists expected (for example the rapidly melting Arctic)
  • Atmospheric CO2 levels have just risen (from 280 parts per million in pre-industrial times) to above 400ppm for the first time in at least 3 million years
  • On current trends, global average temperatures are predicted to rise 4C above pre-industrial levels within this century
  • Now is no time to  backtrack on the Climate Act

Failing on a decarbonisation target would further damage the economy.

  • Businesses have been lining up to support a 2030 decarbonisation target on the face of the Energy Bill. They crave the security that this would bring.
  • While the UK economy has been struggling, the 'green economy' is the only sector which has been growing.
  • Leaving a decision on a 2030 target until 2016 as the Government is proposing is not just dangerous for the climate, it also puts Britain at a disadvantage, with renewables investment and desperately needed jobs likely to go elsewhere.
  • Most recent estimates suggest investing in renewables rather than gas could save £25-45 billion, even with low gas prices. If gas prices rise as more frequently predicted, this could rise to a saving of over £100 billion from investing in renewables (Committee on Climate Change)

(If your MP is a Lib Dem)

  • At their 2012 party conference, Lib Dem party members voted overwhelmingly for a 2030 decarbonisation target. Lib Dem MPs have a clear responsibility to uphold this.
  • See also Information for writing again to Lib Dem MPs

(If your MP is a Tory)

Ask your MP to support a decarbonisation target of 50gCO2/kWh by 2030, and to add their name to the amendment tabled by MPs Tim Yeo and Barry Gardiner for a 2030 decarbonisation target.

Further information

You could include any of these in support:

Information from the Committee on Climate Change explaining why a 2030 target is necessary.

Additional measures to support clean energy in the UK (useful especially if your MP is supportive of the 2030 target amendment)

James Murray of the Business Green website debunks every argument against a 2030 target

What else can I do?

Share this call to action on Facebook and Twitter

Write a letter to your local paper, or even better, try to get a story in - they can be a useful source of publicity.