Energy Bill gets Royal Assent
The Energy Bill was signed by the Queen on 18 October, marking the finish of its long journey through Parliament.
Through the Energy Bill, two Friends of the Earth campaigns - Get Serious about CO2 and the Warm Homes campaign- won important victories for the environment and for the most vulnerable people in society.
This success was made possible by the unique strength of Friends of the Earth's local groups network and our supporters nationwide. A big congratulations to everyone involved.
Here's a reminder of what we won.
Getting serious about CO2
The Get Serious about CO2 campaign aimed to win a step change in local council action on climate change.
In two years, it hugely raised the profile of the issue, putting strong pressure on the Government and councils to act. It:
- Exposed the lack of council action on climate change
- Crucially, won independent advice for councils on the scale of local emissions cuts needed to help meet UK Climate Change Act targets
- Built support from key players for urgent change
And our work isn't over yet - our Councils, Communities and Climate Change conference on 2 November, is set to build on everything we've achieved.
Winning warmer homes
The Warm Homes campaign aimed to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of UK homes.
It pushed the Government to adopt:
- The Warm Homes Amendment - a plan for a street-by-street insulation of UK homes
- A minimum energy efficiency standard for private rented homes - the worst insulated part of the housing sector
In the end, the Warm Homes Amendment proved a step too far for the Government at this stage.
But we did win a minimum energy efficiency standard for homes rented from private landlords and letting agents - a major achievement, especially given the Government's strong dislike of regulation.
Whilst far from perfect, the new minimum standard:
- Will slash carbon emissions - by an amount equivalent to stopping all emissions from Newcastle upon Tyne
- Could lift 150,000 households out of fuel poverty
- Sets a very important precedent - that the Government can require improvements to privately owned homes
We also ensured that the Energy Bill had a much greater focus on vulnerable households and the fuel poor.
We'll continue to work to improve the minimum standard - bringing forward its start date and closing some wording loopholes.
The end of the Get Serious about CO2 and Warm Homes campaigns doesn't mean we are stopping work in these areas.
We will be campaigning hard to make further improvements to the Energy Bill in its secondary legislation phase. And we will keep up pressure on councils and the Government to slash CO2 emissions.
Get involved locally
Find your nearest Friends of the Earth group and get involved in your own community.
© Ian Homer