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UK government abolishes DECC

UPDATE: Reaction to Greg Clark appointment post-DECCxit

UK government abolishes DECC image

DECC has been abolished and UK energy policy is to be transferred to a new ministry called the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The department will be headed by Greg Clark, formerly Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The new secretary, who served as shadow energy secretary between 2008-2010, has caused controversy among the renewables industry by raising the bar for planning applications in England for onshore wind.

Climate change policy is expected to rest with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

RenewableUK chief executive Hugh McNeal said: “We’re looking forward to working supportively with Mr Clark in his new role, as we represent industries that can attract inward investment in the UK, and onshore wind offers the cheapest source of new power for Britain.

"Energy is the big ticket item in British infrastructure spending - the UK will invest over £20bn in wind energy in the next five years."

Good Energy chief executive Juliet Davenport called on Clark to ensure climate change does not slip down the government's agenda.

"In some ways, the name above the door of the civil service department doesn't matter," she said. 

"I want to see concrete action to transform our energy system and clear policies for meeting the UK's decarbonisation commitments."

Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit director Richard Black added: “Greg Clark is an excellent appointment - he understands climate change, and has written influential papers on the benefits of Britain developing a low-carbon economy.

“Creating this new department opens up the exciting option of an innovation and industry strategy that enables companies in the clean energy supply chain, including steel, to expand and thrive together."

Renewable Energy Association policy head James Court said: “We are delighted Greg Clark has been appointed the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

"He previously showed real vision as the Shadow Energy Secretary and we look forward to working with him once again in order to get things moving on the deployment of new renewable energy infrastructure.”

Former energy minister Andrea Leadsom has been appointed Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

It is understood that DECC will vacate its offices at 3 Whitehall Place and a new department for exiting the European Union will move in.

DECC could not be reached for comment.

Image: Greg Clark (DCLG)

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