'Hypocrite' PM to host clean energy summit
David Cameron's attack on solar power subsidy will destroy the industry, say critics, as London prepares for international conference
David Cameron has been accused of hypocrisy for hosting a major green energy summit at the same time as slashing subsidies for solar power generation.
The third Clean Energy Ministerial conference, featuring more than 20 ministers from the world's leading and emerging economies, will take place in London later this month in what No 10 hopes will position the UK as a global leader in renewable power and build on the Prime Minister's claim to lead the "greenest government ever".
Yet The Independent on Sunday understands that one of the UK's largest solar energy companies has been invited to the conference not by the Government but by the US Department of Energy.
The conference will take place just weeks after the introduction of a new feed-in tariff for solar power generation in the UK, which campaigners warn will kill off the booming sector, with 5,000 job losses.
Last month, the Government lost a Supreme Court battle over its failure to consult on halving the subsidy for solar power from 43.3p to 21p per hour in December, allowing homeowners and businesses to carry on benefiting from the old rate until this month. But from 1 April, solar power carries the new 21p rate and further cuts to the subsidy are planned.
Howard Johns, spokesman for the Cut Don't Kill campaign, said: "The industry is already starting to stagnate, but this passing of the 21p mark is a brutal moment.
"People from the industry have stopped being invited to meetings with ministers. It seems highly hypocritical for David Cameron to host a summit on clean energy while presiding over this cut."
In an apparent snub to the British solar power industry, the Government has not invited anyone from the sector to the conference, which will take place at Lancaster House, London, on 25-26 April. Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, will host the event alongside his US counterpart, Steven Chu.
But Solar Century, one of the largest UK solar firms, has been invited to attend by Mr Chu's department.
The meeting is the third annual Clean Energy Ministerial, with 23 nations taking part, including the US, China and India. The 23 nations account for 80 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and 90 per cent of investment in clean energy. The aim of the conference is to improve collaboration between nations on global projects, as well as driving "public-private engagement to support clean energy deployment".
Last year The IoS published an article about opposition to the subsidy cuts, with a coalition of 55 individuals and groups warning the Prime Minister will "strangle at birth" Britain's booming solar panel industry by halving the tariff overnight.
The High Court ruled it was unlawful to cut the subsidy without warning. Last month, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling, and anyone who generates electricity through solar panels was able to claim the higher subsidy to the end of March.
Ministers have blamed the popularity of the feed-in tariff on their decision to cut the rate, insisting that it was too expensive to sustain.
Downing Street and the Department for Energy and Climate Change declined to comment yesterday.
Greenpeace comes to the aid of Britain's small fishing vessels
Frilled shark: Australian fishermen capture terrifying shark from the deep
Nazi super cows: British farmer forced to destroy half his murderous herd of bio-engineered Heck cows after they try to kill staff
Brazil drought: It's a really dry January in the South American country, with rainfall is at its lowest level since 1930
Letters to a heretic: An email conversation with climate change sceptic Professor Freeman Dyson
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 2 Mother of newborn Baby No 59 trapped in sewer pipe told Chinese police she 'heard crying' when she raised alarm
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...