So, I’m back from leave, and it’s not too bad, though I could stay in my little house in the Pyrenees forever if allowed to! It snowed, which was lovely. Pics attached. We had lots of fun with the new puppy Bailey the Beagledor, who is a handful, though a very sweet one!
Anyway, back here there’s a few things to set straight. I guess the main one is that there are no plans to ban plasma TV screens. There are plans to set energy requirements for them and bring in an energy label like you have already for fridges, but as there are quite a few TVs on the market already that meet our proposed standard, that wouldn’t take effect until at least mid-2010, we can say with a lot of confidence that there’s no question of a ban. When we brought out the strategic energy technology plan in 2007 there was a lot of criticism that it didn’t include energy efficiency and our argument was that it was dealt with elsewhere. We’re showing that now. The most immediate way we can tackle not just climate change, but our energy security issues (top of the agenda at the moment!) is through energy efficiency. Habits are not going to change through nice ad campaigns – carrots and sticks are required, through legislation and taxes (either levying or giving breaks).
And another thing – we’re not planning an EU takeover of North Sea oil and gas. Even the UK government said “there is no proposal or prospect of the EU taking control over Britain’s gas supplies”. The Lisbon treaty doesn’t allow this in any way, shape or form and we wouldn’t want to if it did. We do want to make it easier for supplies to move around Europe – ie for the UK to furnish gas against payment to other parts of the EU, especially in situations like now where their supplier has let them down. There’s already a gas coordination group that looks at these interconnections.