The promotion of Amber Rudd to Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has been welcomed by green business groups and campaigners.
David Cameron’s appointment of Rudd to the cabinet is seen as reaffirming the environmental credentials that many felt the prime minister had abandoned.
Greenpeace said it was hopeful about the appointment, while the Renewable Energy Association’s chief executive, Nina Skorupska, said: “Rudd has been a champion of renewables and the low-carbon economy in the past year and her appointment will do much to allay the fears some may have after the general election.”
Writing for Business Green just before the election, Amber Rudd said,
“One million homes have benefitted from energy efficiency measures since 2010 – that’s a million households that will now be permanently warmer for less. Half a million homes have installed solar PV….. Looking forward to the next Parliament, our Conservative Manifesto is clear: we will continue to support the UK Climate Change Act and cut emissions as cost-effectively as possible. We’ll do this through insulating a million more homes, supporting new nuclear power, offshore wind, marine energy and other renewables alongside natural gas and by continuing to drive smart-meter roll-out in every home.”
Amber Rudd is expected to follow the same pro-renewable agenda that was championed by Ed Davey, and her appointment signals continuity on energy policy. Having been climate change minister for most of the last year she will be able to hit the ground running.
The UK still has some of the most poorly insulated homes in Europe. Insulation is a good value energy solution that benefits the fuel poor particularly, and so energy experts will be pressing Ms Rudd to ensure the Treasury prioritises insulation in their spending programme.