Friends of the Earth has warned that the upcoming Electricity Market Reform (EMR) is David Cameron’s last chance to keep his promise to lead the ‘greenest Government ever’.

The environmental charity believes that the upcoming Energy Bill, which was included in the Queen’s Speech, is a unique opportunity to ensure that the UK’s electricity system is largely free from fossil fuels by 2030.

The EMR was introduced in order to respond to the “unprecedented challenges the existing market was not designed to meet” after a number of previous failed attempts to introduce reform. The paper estimates that the UK will need to attract over £200 billion of investment to implement the necessary upgrades to the nation’s creaking energy infrastructure. 

Government’s proposed EMR includes the introduction of a carbon floor price designed to kick-start investment in low-carbon energy generation. The paper also proposes contract for difference feed-in tariffs that will stabilise the revenues of a clean energy generators and a stipulation that all new-build coal power plants engage in Carbon Capture and Storage.

Friends of the Earth contends that a clean energy system would be more popular with the public. A recent YouGov poll showed that 85 percent of the public want the Prime Minister to force the Big Six energy firms to develop energy from renewable sources.

The charity echoes many environmental groups by criticising the Coalition’s record on green issues since it took office. Indeed, a Friends of the Earth report, written by Jonathon Porritt, revealed little or no progress in over three quarters of the environmental pledges made by the Government.

Friends of the Earth's Executive Director Andy Atkins said: “The Energy Bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix our broken energy system – and give some much-needed credibility to the Prime Minister's pledge to lead the greenest Government ever.

“The Government must support clean British energy to tackle rocketing fuel bills and generate new jobs and industries that could buck the double-dip recession. David Cameron and his Lib Dem colleagues called for a strong clean economy in opposition – it's crucial they deliver in power. Labour must take action too – Ed Miliband must do more to champion green issues to raise them up the political agenda.”

Commentating on the forthcoming Energy Bill, a Department of Energy and Climate Change spokeswoman said: “We are publishing the Bill in draft in order to speed up its passage through Parliament and to enable pre-legislative scrutiny which will help make the legislation more robust. This will not delay the date at which the reforms are introduced, and making it available for pre-legislative scrutiny has been welcomed by industry and the opposition.

“We anticipate legislation reaching the statute book by 2013 so that the first low-carbon projects can be supported (as we originally envisaged) in 2014.”