British Prime Minister David Cameron has named Amber Rudd as the UK’s new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, he said on Twitter.
Formerly Undersecretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in Cameron’s previous administration, Rudd will take over from Liberal Democrat Ed Davey, who failed to re-win his seat in last week’s general election.
Conservative Rudd was first elected as an MP for Hastings and Rye in South East England in 2010 before being re-elected last week.
In an op-ed for BusinessGreen published a day before the election, Rudd wrote:
“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.”
Rudd last year told Bloomberg that a new carbon market that will spur emerging nations to cut emissions will be the “most important part” of any international climate agreement inked in Paris later this year.
And ahead of the Lima climate conference last year, she told BusinessGreen:
“I want to move the whole negotiations forward. Everybody keeps saying – such as in the meeting on Sunday – there’s no point waiting until Paris. That was the problem with Copenhagen: they waited too long. We’ve got these key landmarks along the way, such as capitalising the Green Climate Fund, getting to Lima, getting a draft text, getting commitments for the first quarter of next year.”
The Conservative party won a majority, with their former junior coalition partners the Liberal Democrats losing most of their seats.
Environmental campaigners have raised concerns that the loss of the Liberal Democrats in government will mean climate issues get a lower priority.
The Conservatives signed a cross-party pledge in February to uphold UK carbon targets while their election pledges promised to end support for onshore wind power projects while continuing to encourage the exploitation of shale gas.
They also pledged to hold an in-out referendum on EU membership by 2017, throwing up uncertainty for the future of the bloc’s centralised climate policy including the EU ETS.
By Mike Szabo and Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org