Davey: “Denying green energy is good for growth is as perverse as denying climate change”

Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has vigorously defended the Liberal Democrats green credentials during his keynote speech at the Liberal Democrats party convention.

Addressing the crowd in Brighton, Davey said: “[green growth] it’s much, much bigger than many realise and bigger than the sceptics want people to know about.”

The Minister continued: “Green growth is the fastest around and at the heart of rebalancing the British economy. How can the critics ignore this? Why won't they champion this British growth opportunity? How can they let ideology blind them to what is happening right before their eyes? My message to them is simple: no turning back from tackling climate change; no turning back green jobs; no turning back from green growth.

Davey concluded: “To deny our green energy revolution is good for growth, is as perverse as denying climate change

Davey criticised certain factions of the Conservative party, stating: “Noises off at the margins are undermining investors' confidence and that is undermining green growth, and that is undermining the central purpose of the government, which is deficit reduction.

He added: "When you hear all that noise on the right of politics that worries investors. They think, 'Well if I am going to put all this money in - it is a 30-year investment - I need to know that if the government changes we are not going to have some right-wing Tea Party tendency taking over.'"

In his party speech Davey spoke of the extent of the challenge that faces the UK over the coming years:

“Replacing our ageing power stations closing over the next decade will attract £110bn of investment. Energy is half; yes half, of all Britain's planned infrastructure investment. And since this summer's Olympics was so fabulous - let me get in on the act. Britain's green growth opportunity is like building 20 Olympic Stadiums every year until 2020.

“So that's why British industry wants us to crack on with our energy reforms - the foundation of Britain's future low carbon economy. Industry knows this will stimulate the investment the economy needs. Our reforms will unlock billions of private investment in energy produced here in the UK: wind, marine, solar hydro, nuclear and carbon capture and storage.

“Private investors will fund the vast bulk of what we need. Unlike many other projects, green growth need not mean red ink. The energy projects that I want to drive are ready now, they are what the Treasury calls shovel ready.”

Davey concluded: “Our campaigns changed the political agenda so much that we can now become a world green leader. That's how far Britain has come, that's how far we have come so let us say loud and clear, on our green future there will be no turning back.”

The Energy Secretary’s powerful speech should serve as a warning to those in the Coalition Government that have sought to curtail investment in green energy. Ed Miliband’s public backing of the green economy’s growth potential means that the Conservatives are the only major party left to have not explicitly backed the potential of green investment in these times of austerity.