Updated: Wednesday, 3rd June 2020 @ 3:06pm

Don't shelve wind farms: Coalition ‘must prevent disaster’, claims Green Party's Manchester by-election candidate

Don't shelve wind farms: Coalition ‘must prevent disaster’, claims Green Party's Manchester by-election candidate

By Robbie Gill

Controversial government plans to shelve onshore wind farm expansions have been branded as risking ‘disaster’ by the Green Party candidate for Manchester’s by-election

Tom Dylan lambasted the coalition’s decision, claiming that it shows a lack of courage and undermines their claims to be the ‘greenest government ever’.

Mr Dylan said that all renewable energy works best as part of a portfolio of sources, something we must utilise if we are to avert ecological meltdown.

He said: “Most energy sources work best when they are part of a diverse mix, and wind is no exception.

“There is plenty of energy all around us to enable us to reduce our fossil fuel usage.  We just have to have the vision and the courage to invest in renewable energy now, in order to prevent disaster later.”

The government’s decision comes amid fears that they are costly, and have become a blot on the landscape, a move that is set to create further rifts within the coalition.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Energy Minister John Hayes said: “We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities. I can’t single-handedly build a new Jerusalem but I can protect our green and pleasant land.

“We have issued a call for evidence on wind. That is about cost but also about community buy-in. We need to understand communities’ genuine desires.

“We will form our policy in the future on the basis of that, not on a bourgeois Left article of faith based on some academic perspective.”

The Electricity Networks Strategy Group estimated that nearly 30 GW of wind power will have to be built by 2020.

However, the total amount that will be generated by wind has been cut, as have subsidies to onshore wind farms, with 100 Conservative MP’s calling for this cut to exceed the 10% that was previously announced.

The government are also planning to increase the amount of energy generated by nuclear power in an attempt to meet the emissions targets laid down in the Kyoto Protocol.

This has been viewed by Mr Dylan as an indication that the government are not serious about their green agenda, and that some sections of the government have a blasé attitude towards climate change.

He said: “Exacting change will require bold political choices, to create the framework for the transition to a low carbon economy.

“We need to reduce our energy use first and foremost, whilst also tackling our reliance on fossil fuels.  Neither of those things will happen by carrying on with business as usual.

“At the moment, I don’t see any of the establishment parties showing any sign of having the vision or leadership which is required on this issue.”

He was less critical about the use nuclear power, providing it entailed modern fusion technology as opposed to the archaic fission reactors which caused wide spread damage in the past.

He said: “The two main problems with nuclear fusion as I understand it are that the technology is a long way from being mature, and producing meaningful amounts of energy. 

“Nuclear fusion is also used in the nuclear industry as a way of green-washing nuclear fission, and trying to disguise the long term devastation that they are leaving for future generations to clean up.

“But if there was a source of clean, unlimited energy, with no damaging waste products then you’d have to go a long way to find anyone who would argue against its use.”

The Liberal Democrats have not been the only dissenting voices within the coalition, Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative MP and green campaigner, branded the Tory retreat on climate change ‘senseless.’

Salford Green Party Chairman Joe O’Neil has also blasted the government’s hypocritical stance over green issues and highlighted the dangers of failing to act.

He said: “I am unsure of how this Government stands on anything, Wind must be one of the cheapest forms of energy but the Tories again seem unable to make decisions that match their so called Green Credentials.

“We cannot depend on the resources we have being infinite I don’t worry about myself and my future I worry about my Granddaughter and her future. We need to look forward to the people who come after us having something to use.

“Selling Green is one of the hardest sells but if people sat back and digested some of the issues they must see this Government and others have got them wrong.”

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