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Feb 24th, 2010

Leaked government response to our climate campaign

By JohnnyChatterton

Late last night we received a leaked document from the Energy Minister Joan Ruddock telling Labour MPs not to support limits on power stations emissions.

You can download and read the letter from the Minister here and then read our response here (both PDFs)

Take action by telling your MP to stand up to the Government and support a cleaner energy bill here.

We’ve just sent this email out:
Over the past 48 hours, thousands of us have emailed our MPs to call for limits on power station emissions. We’ve caused a real stir in Parliament. Opponents of these new rules are trying to fight back – we’ve just got hold of a copy of a letter from Energy Minister Joan Ruddock, sent yesterday, telling every Labour MP not to support our amendment.

Working with Friends of the Earth, we’ve prepared a point by point response to the minister’s letter, setting out for MPs why it’s not convincing and why they must stick to their support. Please could you email your MP again today to send them a copy of our response?
The debate starts in parliament today – please email your MP now here:

The vote will take place later today. The government clearly thinks we’re having an impact – that’s why they’ve felt pushed to respond. But the government’s document isn’t very convincing [1]. Together we can make sure MPs know that we’ve seen their briefing from the minister, we’re not convinced by it, and we still want them to vote in favour of Emissions Performance Standards for new power stations.

Our colleague Martyn Williams from Friends of the Earth has been in parliament for the past couple of days talking to MPs about the bill, and stayed up last night to prepare our response to the minister. Here’s what he has to say:

“Thanks for all the emails so far – they’ve made this a big issue in parliament, MPs are all feeling the pressure. We know that the government whips are also building up the pressure, and many Labour MPs really want to be reassured by these letters from the Minister.”

“But if they know their constituents aren’t convinced, it makes it much harder for them to simply accept these assurances and vote with their party. The debate starts just after lunch today, the vote will be sometime this afternoon – this is our last chance to make a difference. Please help.”

Send your MP another quick email to make sure they don’t accept the minister’s letter at face value:

Thanks for being involved,

David, Hannah, Johnny, Nina and the 38 Degrees Team


[1]Some points are completely irrelevant – like the claim the amendment would achieve nothing as the Government could introduce an EPS anyway. The problem is Ministers aren’t going to – and the amendment would force them to. Surely that’s achieving quite a lot. Another claims that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme will deal with the problems. Unfortunately the key Government advisors – the Committee on Climate Chnage – have told the Government they simply do not accept that and other policies must be introduced.  Two other points quote half sentences from the Committee on Climate Change – Martyn has dug out the other half of the sentences – which stress the need for clear and rapid Government action.

You can see the text of the leaked letter, and our response, here:



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