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Veolia joins attack on policy switch over green subsidies

Veolia has angrily condemned the Government for abandoning an environmental subsidy in a move it says puts thousands of jobs at risk.

The company joined the fray after a group of environmental organisations this week said the Government had scrapped or watered down 10 green policies since May’s general election.

Rickard Kirkman

Veolia UK & Ireland technical director Richard Kirkman (left) told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that the company had invested around £10m in new equipment to generate electricity from landfill gas at its Rainham site on the promise of a subsidy through to 2023.

But this month the Government said that Levy Exemption Certificates would end on 1 August.

Kirkman said: “We are very angry that the Government has made a U-turn on subsidies agreed until 2023 with just one month’s notice. This isn’t a way to run a Government and give business the confidence to invest.

“There are tens of thousands of jobs at stake in this sector – business can’t continue to invest if it doesn’t know where the Government is going on policy.”

Other ‘green’ measures cancelled include zero carbon homes and buildings, the Green Deal, a climate change levy exemption for zero carbon energy, solar and onshore wind support via the renewables obligation and contracts for difference.

The Green Alliance, the Institute for European Environmental Policy, National Trust, Campaign for Better Transport and Campaign to Protect Rural England were among those that signed the protest letter to prime minister David Cameron.

Energy secretary Amber Rudd told the BBC: “We need to keep bills as low as possible for hard-working families and businesses while reducing our emissions in the most cost-effective way.

“Our support has driven down the cost of renewable energy significantly. As costs continue to fall it becomes easier for parts of the renewables industry to survive without subsidies.”


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