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Rishi Sunak says he will not allow more onshore wind farms  

Credit:  Rishi Sunak promises Tory right he will not allow more onshore wind farms | Leadership frontrunner says onshore wind causes ‘distress and disruption’ | Adam Forrest | Independent | www.independent.co.uk ~~

Conservative leadership contender Rishi Sunak has promised to “scrap” Boris Johnson’s plan to relax a ban on onshore wind farms in an appeal to the Tory right on climate.

The former chancellor said he would uphold the ban if he wins the contest and becomes prime minister – citing the “distress and disruption” that onshore wind farms can cause.

David Cameron’s government introduced a de facto ban on new onshore wind farm construction in 2016 when development was excluded from any green electricity subsidies.

And under current government plans, local communities in England would be asked to consent to host new turbines in return for discounted electricity bills.

But Mr Sunak said on Wednesday: “I want to reassure communities that as prime minister I would scrap plans to relax the ban on onshore wind in England, instead focusing on building more turbines offshore.”

A YouGov poll from September found that 62 per cent of Tory voters would support an offshore wind farm being built in their area, while on 28 per cent would be opposed.

The frontrunner – just one vote short of becoming one of the final two candidates – also pledged to make UK self-sufficient in energy production by 2045.

Under Mr Sunak’s plan a new “energy sovereignty” target for 2045 would be written in to law, and an energy security committee would co-ordinate action to keep power stations online, protect gas reserves and reform markets to cut consumers’ bills.

A dedicated energy ministry would be formed by breaking up the current Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Mr Sunak said: “As energy bills skyrocket in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has never been more important that our country achieves energy sovereignty, so that we’re no longer reliant on the volatility of the global energy supply.”

It comes after Mr Sunak warned that if progress on the plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 is “too hard and too fast” it would lose public support.

Climate campaigns and Tory supporters of the net zero commitment fear Mr Johnson’s successor will backslide on policies aimed at achieving the landmark 2050 pledge.

Foreign secretary Liz Truss suggested she wanted to look again at policies aimed at achieving net zero, vowing to stop the levies which help pay for investment in renewable energy. Rival Penny Mordaunt said the 2050 target “mustn’t clobber people” financially.

Chris Skidmore – chair of the Net Zero Support Group of Tory MPs keen to uphold the target – welcomed Mr Sunak’s latest announcements.

“A dedicated Department for Energy gives better focus on net zero, while an energy security target highlights that renewable energy provides energy sovereignty – ending foreign fossil fuel dependence,” he tweeted.

Tory MP Robert Jenrick also defended Mr Sunak’s green credentials, describing him as “in favour of a sensible and credible plan to net zero”.

The former minister told Sky News: “What he has said is that this is a big and expensive and logistically difficult journey for the country, and we’ve got to make sure we keep the public with us on that path.”

Mr Jenrick added: “When we’re thinking of new pledges – whether that’s the introduction of electric vehicles, or mandating that homes have to have ground-source heat pumps – we’ve got to think about the pound in people’s pocket.

“Because if the public lose faith in this, then we’re only going to set back our path to net zero.”

A final vote of Tory MPs on Wednesday will select the two candidates to be put to the party’s membership in the race for No 10.

Ms Truss and Ms Mordaunt are battling to win over Kemi Badenoch’s supporters after she was knocked out of the contest.

Source:  Rishi Sunak promises Tory right he will not allow more onshore wind farms | Leadership frontrunner says onshore wind causes ‘distress and disruption’ | Adam Forrest | Independent | www.independent.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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