BEIS silent over Clean Growth Plan as minsters come and go

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has continued its silence over the likely publication of the Clean Growth Plan (CGP) as the traditional reshuffle of energy policy minsters claims Nick Hurd.

Prior to the election Hurd claimed the CGP was “in a holding pattern” due to the short notice of the snap poll, but added that work was still underway to complete the government’s climate change approach.

However, the former climate change minister will not get a chance to complete this body of work as it was announced last night that he had been moved to the Home Office to take up the post of minster for policing and fire service.

Meanwhile, Claire Perry has been assigned to a position within BEIS, although a spokesperson told Solar Power Portal that it had not yet been confirmed if the MP for Devizes would take over the climate change brief.

If Perry does take up the role left by Hurd, the appointment is not likely to attract support from climate change advocates as Perry voted against a number of measures designed to tackle the issue.

According to records by TheyWorkForYou, she voted against such proposals 11 times between 2011-2016 and was absent from five others, while voting in favour of measures like allowing an increase in VAT on the installation of energy saving materials as recently as September last year. Hurd’s record bears many similarities, with both acting loyally towards the party whip.

On solar specifically Perry has also refused to back large-scale, ground-mount developlments in the past, citing the cumulative effects of large numbers of solar farms being developed across the country and concerns from constituents in her Devizes seat.

However Perry did write on the issue in February last year, calling climate change “one of the most serious threats that we face” and calling for “ambitious set of targets” within the government’s plans to meet the fifth carbon budget.

Assuming she is appointed to the climate change brief, Perry may now have the chance to help set such goals. However the BEIS spokesperson added that it would take discussions over the next few days to decide the potential appointment and the future timeline of the CGP, which is already almost a year overdue.