Mein Kommentar zum politischen Klimawandel in Westminster: Yesterday, environmental journalists warned that the reshuffle has effectively terminated “the greenest government ever.” Some have argued that Owen Paterson’s appointment marks a sharp turn from the green policies that had previously found a home in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). In the past, Paterson has proposed an end to all energy subsidies and a speedy development of domestic shale gas reserves. His endorsement of shale exploration is particularly pertinent, since DEFRA is responsible for the Environment Agency, which is in charge of regulating and policing shale gas ventures.
Most crucially, the government intends to publish a new Economy Bill in the next few days, detailing a major deregulation of the planning system. Paterson will be responsible for the deregulation of environmental assessments, allowing fast-tracked developments.
In light of Britain’s struggling economy, it is becoming increasingly evident that the passion for green control and command policies is coming to its predictable end. Saving jobs and the economy is now the uppermost priority for Britain and most other European countries.
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BBC News: The moves in the reshuffle were described by the environment campaigner George Monbiot as Mr Cameron “declaring war” on the environment. Mr Paterson has previously stated that he wants to expand shale gas in the UK and to cull badgers. Alan Whitehead, a member of the Commons Energy Committee, said: “There is a shift away from greener ministers in posts towards less green ministers and I think that’s serious.”
Lord Lawson, a leading UK climate change sceptic, welcomed the appointment of Mr Paterson, who he described as “one of the ablest people in Cabinet”. His colleague at the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Benny Peiser, applauded Mr Paterson’s support for ending energy subsidies and promoting shale gas.
Britain’s energy policy now faces a huge opportunity, Mr Peiser said: “(Mr Paterson) will have to prove that there is a rational and effective alternative to green command and control policies that Britain can no longer afford.”
Reuters: Britain sent a clear signal of support to its oil and gas industry when it named an advocate of shale gas fracking as environment minister and a wind farm sceptic as energy minister. The appointments in Prime Minister David Cameron’s ministerial reshuffle on Tuesday mark a departure from his pledge to run Britain’s greenest government, in favour of the fossil fuel sector that generates billions of pounds in tax revenue. “There is a shift away from greener ministers in posts towards less green ministers and I think that’s serious,” Alan Whitehead, a member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, said during an industry event on Tuesday. More here