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UK Politics

Top energy adviser walks out over 'Treasury meddling'


The essential overhaul of Britain’s energy system has been thrown into disarray by the resignation of one of its architects – just as Energy Secretary Ed Davey prepares to escalate his drive to stamp out doubts about the existence of climate change.

Ravi Gurumurthy, a key adviser on the Government’s much-vaunted Energy Bill in his role as head of strategy at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), is the latest top-level civil servant to resign. He is understood to be following his former boss David Miliband to the International Rescue Committee in New York.

Mr Gurumurthy’s resignation comes less than a fortnight after Jonathan Brearley – a close colleague and another pivotal player in the energy market reforms – resigned as DECC’s head of energy markets. The pair leave at a crucial time, with the landmark draft Energy Bill still lacking details on energy efficiency and unlikely to finish its passage through Parliament for months.

An insider who knows both men suggested that they “were not happy... DECC is working to improve the investment climate and the Treasury is stopping it”.

The latest fallout from the dispute between DECC and the Treasury comes as Mr Davey prepares on Monday to step up his campaign to decisively tackle climate change at the Petersberg climate talks in Berlin.

In comments some suggest may be targeted, in part, at Tory climate sceptics, Mr Davey told The Independent that world leaders needed to work hard to sign a legally binding deal to tackle climate change in 2015 as agreed.

“The science demands it. Climate change threatens the wellbeing of every person around the world and  can only be addressed through a global response to reduce emissions,”  he said.

“What we still need is the political will to take the action desperately needed. We need a greater sense of urgency. This means taking tough decisions and challenging others.”

A DECC spokesman refused to comment on Mr Gurumurthy’s departure, adding that Mr Brearley’s departure was as a result of “a long-standing agreement that he would take a career break”.