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Published on what the government dubbed at the time “green Monday”, the white paper on energy provision was met with derision from environmentalists including the Green party. Their principle speaker Margaret Wright described Blair’s white paper and environment secretary, Margaret Beckett’s annual report on sustainable development as, “green spin and greenwash”.
Wright pointed out back then that the £350m set aside for renewable energies in the energy white paper was just over half the taxpayer bail-out of the privatised nuclear power industry that had recently been announced.
Even the prime minister’s environmental adviser, Sir Jonathon Porritt, warned that the UK would fall “well short” of its goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent by 2010 unless major policy changes were made, particularly on reducing car use.
Blair’s government insisted it was backing renewable energy sources with an extra £30m for that sector per annum. So what do Blair’s green credentials really amount to? To find out, read the role Blair Associates is expected to play at Khosla Ventures and what Vinod Khosla thinks about nuclear power in the extended entry of this blog here.