A new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has been created by the prime minister, along with three other departments.
The changes “will ensure the right skills and teams are focused on” government goals like halving inflation and reducing debt, according to Whitehall.
The new energy department will be “tasked with securing… long-term energy supply, bringing down bills and halving inflation”.
The move recognises “the significant impact rising prices have had on households across the country” and “the need to secure more energy from domestic nuclear and renewable sources as we seize the opportunities of net zero”.
Lee Marshall, policy and external affairs director, CIWM (Chartered Institution of Wastes Management), said: “CIWM is encouraged by the UK government’s announcement that there will be a new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. CIWM is on its own journey to Net Zero, as set out in our Net Zero Roadmap, and is working to support the resources and waste sector as it continues to reduce carbon emissions. Policies that support the move to a circular economy will be key for the new Department, in conjunction with the Department for Business and Trade and the new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. Resources and waste professionals are at the heart of the circular economy and have a major role to play in helping to achieve net zero.”
However, others were more sceptical.
Greenpeace UK’s director of policy, Dr Doug Parr, said: “As climate disasters intensify, energy costs spiral and the world continues to sink under rising seas, without other fundamental reforms, re-establishing a Department for Energy will be as helpful as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s government policy and underinvestment that are holding back real action on the climate and energy crises, not the departments or ministers in place.
“Unless the new-look department for energy is given the freedom and funding to rapidly scale up renewable energy production – both offshore and on – to shore up domestic supply, as well as roll out a nationwide scheme to insulate the tens of millions of energy-wasting homes across the country, what’s the point?”