Last month ADBA responded to the House of Commons Energy & Climate Change Committee’s request for industry feedback on the scrutiny body’s short and long term priorities.
ADBA was subsequently selected to join a roundtable debate in parliament as one of 60 organisations chosen from the inquiry’s 250 respondents from a diverse range of industries; including renewables, nuclear, fracking, academia, energy efficiency and utilities.
Under the committee’s new leadership – chaired by a leading industry advocate, Angus MacNeil MP, and with a membership which includes a number of new intake MPs – there appears to be a re-energised drive behind the scrutiny body’s efforts. This is the first time that we’re aware of in which the committee has summoned together industry leaders in one closed-door event to discuss its priorities for holding the government to account.
During the discussion, ADBA encouraged the committee’s MPs to evaluate the impact of recent government decisions on the UK’s ability to deliver indigenous gas, and the role that can play in delivering localised energy grids. In addition, ADBA encouraged the committee to assess the UK’s ability to meet its renewable energy targets.
In response, while emphasising the need for industry to demonstrate its cost-effectiveness, the committee has agreed to seek to work alongside other parliamentary committees to facility greater cross-departmental coordination on energy and environmental policy. In particular, the committee will consider the role that the devolution agenda can play in driving improved energy policy – and of course, as part of this, we will be lobbying for a focus on resource management.
By working with the committee to evaluate the impact of recent government policy decisions and to put forward evidence to DECC in support of our industry’s excellent ROI, we believe that we can mount an effective challenge to recent policy decisions that has seen the rug pulled out from underneath a vibrant industry’s feet.
The Energy & Climate Change Committee’s proactivity in seeking industry feedback on its priorities for both the year ahead and across this parliament is very encouraging and should be commended. We will work closely with the committee to ensure that it is asking the difficult questions that government has so far been unwilling to answer.