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The Green Party's Alternative Energy Review

Jean Lambert MEP - briefing sheet on Energy and Renewables

Climate Change and the EU's energy agenda

Energy in the UK

Energy in London

Climate Change Levy and Emissions Trading

Nuclear Energy




Climate Change and the EU's energy agenda


In 1997, more than 160 nations met in Kyoto, Japan, to negotiate binding limitations on greenhouse gases for the developed nations, pursuant to the objectives of the Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992. The outcome of the meeting was the Kyoto Protocol, in which the developed nations agreed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, relative to the levels emitted in 1990. The United States agreed to reduce emissions from 1990 levels by 7 percent during the period 2008 to 2012.

In March 2000 the European Commission launched the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP) to prepare additional policies and measures, as well as an emissions trading scheme, to ensure that the EU achieves the 8% cut in emissions by 2008-2012 to which it is committed under the Kyoto Protocol.



The European Commission's White Paper for a Community Strategy sets out a strategy to double the share of renewable energies in gross domestic energy consumption in the European Union by 2010 (from the present 6% to 12%) including a timetable of actions to achieve this objective in the form of an Action Plan.



In January 1999 the Council of the European Union adopted the Decision on " a multi-annual framework programme for actions in the energy sector (1998-2002) and connected measures".

This framework programme brings together six areas of EU spending on energy research and promotional activity that were previously dealt with separately. This energy framework programme creates a more focused and integrated Community energy policy which is to be implemented through six specific programmes:

ETAP forecasting and analysis of energy markets and trends
SYNERGY international co-operation in the field of energy
SAVE encouragement of efficient use of energy sources
CARNOT promotion of the use of clean coal technologies
SURE encouraging nuclear safety in countries included in TACIS
ALTENER promotion of renewable energy sources

A budget of €170 million has been allocated to the implementation of the programme, of which €68 million is for 1998 to 1999 and €102 million for 2000 to 2002.


The overall aim of the ALTENER programme is to make an essential contribution to increasing use and market share of Renewable Energy Sources, which are environmentally sustainable and constitute a major component of the Community strategy to abate greenhouse gas emissions.

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!Useful Links!

European Commission Energy and Transport Directorate General


European Commission Sixth Environment Action Programme


ICLEI The Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) Campaign




Climate Change Network (CNE)


European Commission Sustainable Cities Project


Energy in the UK

In the UK, 99% of current energy supply comes from the combustion of fossil fuels and from nuclear power. Only 1% is generated from renewable sources.

Under the Kyoto agreement, the UK is committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 12.5% below 1990 levels by 2010 - a binding target once the agreement is ratified by Parliament some time in 2002-3. It's own domestic target aims for more than that.

The Government's Energy Review

In February 2002, the Performance and Innovation Unit's (PIU) published an energy review. On the back of this, the UK Government produced its White Paper 'Our Energy Future' published on 24 February 2003 which set out a long-term strategy for UK Energy Policy.

The Green Party's Response

Jean Lambert's Press Release


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!Useful Links!


Read the Government's Energy White Paper

Read the PIU energy review

Directive 2001/77/EC on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market,


Energy in London


In Spring 2002, the Mayor of London published a draft energy strategy for public consultation.

In the Mayor's words, "The Strategy aims to minimise the impacts on health and on the local and global environment, of meeting the essential energy needs of all those living and working in London. Specifically, it aims to reduce London's contribution to global climate change, tackle the problem of fuel poverty and, and at the same time promote London's economic development through renewable and energy efficient technologies. "

Read Jean Lambert's response to the strategy


11th October
City Hall, London

The Mayor of London has established that the key aim of the London Energy Strategy is to "reduce London's contribution to global climate change, tackle the problem of fuel poverty and, at the same time, promote London's economic development through renewable and energy efficient technologies."

The Mayor will adopt a renewable energy target for London, as well as targets for specific renewable energy technologies, as recommended and agreed through stakeholder consensus during consultation in 2002. The London Sustainable Development Commission has been given the task of coordinating this consultation.

This is an important time in the future planning of energy use in London, and the Mayor's Environment Advisor, Victor Anderson, and the Green Party MEP for London, Jean Lambert, wish to support the effort to set challenging targets through discussion with stakeholders in a context of energy efficiency.

They will be holding a conference on the theme 'Moving to renewable energy sources in an energy efficient London' 11th October at City Hall in London. Click on the title above for more details.

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!Useful Links!


Read the London Mayor's draft Energy Strategy


Solar Pannelling in London


London Sustainability Exchange

Climate Change Levy and Emissions Trading

Climate Change Levy Discount Scheme

In April 2002 UK businesses became liable for the Climate Change Levy (CCL), a new energy tax that adds about 15% to typical energy bills. Many intensive users of energy are able to join Climate Change Levy Agreements helping mitigate the effects this tax. Under these agreements, business that accept and subsequently meet energy reduction targets will receive an 80% levy discount until the year 2013. Over 40 CCL Agreements are in place.

UK Emissions Trading Scheme

The UK emissions trading scheme is the world's first economy-wide greenhouse gas trading scheme. 34 organisations have already voluntarily taken on a legally binding obligation to reduce their emissions against 1998-2000 levels, delivering over 4 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent emission reductions by the final year of the scheme.

Many more companies are expected to join the scheme later this year, when the 6000 companies with climate change agreements can buy allowances to meet their targets, or to sell any over-achievement. UK based approved emission reduction projects will also be able to sell credits into the scheme. Anyone who doesn't want to enter the scheme on the basis of an emissions reduction target or an emissions reduction projection can simply open an account on the registry to buy & sell allowances.

For more information click on the title link.

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!Useful Links!


DEFRA website:
Climate Change Levy


Climate Change Levy Discount Scheme


Nuclear Energy

Britain stands at a crossroads in energy policy - with one direction leading towards more nuclear power stations, and the other to the sustainable exploitation of renewable energy sources.

The decision should be easy. Renewable energy is affordable, safe and clean and the UK has some of the best resources in Europe. Wind power at sea alone could meet our electricity needs three times over and bring thousands of jobs to the UK. Yet the Government is seriously considering a proposal to build 10 more nuclear power stations.

Greenpeace research reveals that British Energy currently favours new nuclear plants that would:
* Be built near existing British Energy and BNFL nuclear power stations
* Be based on new unlicensed and untested reactor designs
* Add to the UK’s radioactive waste crisis
* Increase the risk of catastrophic accident that could damage our health, environment and economy for generations.

We must say no to nuclear


BRITAIN'S nuclear power industry is effectively bankrupt, according to report published at Westminster by Green Euro MPs. The report - 'Examination of BNFL Reports and Accounts' - commissioned by Irish MEP Nuala Ahern and written by nuclear analyst Mike Sadnicki, claims the taxpayer faces a clean-up bill of more than £40bn to meet a shortfall in money earmarked for decommissioning outdated nuclear reactors. Published just two days after BNFL's Annual Report and Accounts revealed a $2bn loss last year, the Sadnicki report makes sobering reading for the industry.

The report is published less than two weeks after a UK Government White Paper revealed that Britain's nuclear waste liabilities are £48 billion and rising (including £40.5bn for BNFL alone), and that the taxpayer will have to meet most of the cost of nuclear clean up.

Download report



Trains carrying spent nuclear fuel regularly travel through London on tracks running in built up areas close to housing, schools and businesses. The report by the London Assembly committee investigating the transport of nuclear waste revealed that no London-based emergency exercise has been conducted involving all London's emergency services.

Spent fuel from three nuclear power stations in the southeast is regularly taken to British Nuclear Fuel’s [BNFL] Sellafield plant in Cumbria, by rail. The routes pass through London, because of the lack of large storage facilities at the reactor sites. Part loads of nuclear waste are frequently stored at marshalling yards in Willesden, before complete shipments are sent to Sellafield.

Read the GLA Scrutiny report of the transportation of nuclear waste by train through London, October 2001

(Foreword by the Chair of the Nuclear W aste Trains
Investigative Committee: Darren Johnson, Green Party)


"DON'T IGNORE SELLAFIELD HEALTH RISKS!" thousands to tell Tony Blair in postcard blitz

In April 2002, Jean Lambert welcomed the Irish campaign against Sellafield, masterminded by Ali Hewson (Bono's wife) and supported by Nuala Ahern (Green MEP for Ireland). Jean said, "The government cannot go on ignoring these risks to the health and safety of its citizens at home." She added, "UK citizens have a right to know about the risks posed by Sellafield, and this postcard campaign should achieve just that". Prince Charles and the chairman of the British Nuclear Fuels Lobby Norman Askew will also receive postcards.

Read background briefing

Read summary of WISE-PARIS report


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!Useful Links!


Greenpeace campaign against nuclear


CND campaign against nuclear


Irish Green campaign against BNFL and Sellafield