BEIS stands by soft ERP timetable despite May’s snap election call

Theresa May this morning announced plans to hold a general election on 8 June. Image: Jay Allen/Crown Copyright.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has reiterated its stance that the forthcoming emissions reduction plan will be published “as early as possible” despite prime minister Theresa May calling a snap election this morning.

Earlier today May announced her intention to hold a snap general election on 8 June 2017 despite having previously insisted that a surprise election was not under consideration.

Should opposition parties vote to approve that call as expected tomorrow, a six-week pre-election period of ‘purdah’ would come into effect from 27 April 2017, preventing the current government from making any policy announcements.

That deadline would mean that any pending policy reveals – including that of the repeatedly delayed emissions reduction plan – would have to be announced by 26 April or be delayed until after the election result.

And with parliament’s summer recess currently pencilled in for between 20 July and 5 September, there are added complications to when the government could publish its plan.

But despite the added uncertainty, a spokesperson for BEIS this morning told Solar Power Portal that the department was standing by its previously mentioned stance that the document would be published as early as possible.

Just last week activist group ClientEarth threatened legal action over the government’s failure to publish the emissions reduction plan so far, pointing to legislation requiring the government to establish how it will meet carbon budgets without delay.

Originally due to be published before the end of last year, the government has so far set deadlines for February, March and now “as early as possible” in 2017.