On 16 October 2008, Miliband, Secretary of State for the newly created Department of Energy and Climate Change, announced that the British government would legislate to oblige itself to cut greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050, rather than the 60% cut in carbon dioxide emissions previously announced.
In March 2009, after discussion with Peter Postlethwaite (remember him from Brassed Off?) Miliband announced to the House of Commons a change to the government's policy on coal-fired power stations, saying that any potential new coal-fired power stations would be unable to receive government consent unless they could demonstrate that they would be able to effectively capture and bury 25% of the emissions they produce immediately, with a view to seeing that rise to 100% of emissions by 2025.
Miliband represented the UK at the 2009 Copenhagen Summit, from which emerged a global commitment to provide an additional US$10 billion a year to fight the effects of climate change, with an additional $100 billion a year provided by 2020
So clearly he agrees that we have to do something major about emissions, energy usage etc if we as a country are to play our part in reducing the impact of factors that may affect climate change. Clearly he also thinks that he can sit on the beach Knut-style and repel the rising tide of energy price increases. But isn't that the very mechanism he put in place? So how does an unenforceable cap on elec and gas bills help reduce consumption? Make it cheaper and people will use more. Make it cheaper and people will not invest in ways to save energy
Of course . ®Ed could actually adopt some radical policies to enable the less well off to be protected against this but he hasn't actually got the Balls ( oh if only, if only) the brains, of the ability to do that. He could for instance, put up the bills for the better off and lower them for the worse off by reversing current tariffs so that the the unit price increases the more you use. Set a threshold at the average usage of a family of four in a three bed semi in Meriden , then above that, the price doubles. Govt keeps the difference between what the utils would normally charge and this new price structure to reduce the price for the less well off and to support the measures we have to take to reduce energy use and emissions. Can't see that going down well in the industrial heartlands of Islington, Hampstead and Crouch End - Miliband's natural constituency.
The fact remains that under whatever govt, energy prices will continue to rise...and rise..and rise. in the three year between 2007 and 2011, under Miliband, the average domestic fuel( gas plus elec) bill increased by over 20% oh, Ed, oh, Ed, Ubi parentes, malum?