Labour appoints former Climate Change Committee CEO to lead clean energy taskforce

Labour has appointed a leading climate expert to oversee the government’s attempts to deliver clean and cheaper power by 2030.

Chris Stark, the former chief executive at climate watchdog, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), has been appointed to lead a clean energy “mission control” centre which has been likened to the Covid vaccine taskforce.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said the “mission control” centre will be “the first of its kind in government”

It said: “Mission Control will be a one-stop shop, bringing together a top team of industry experts and officials to troubleshoot, negotiate and clear the way for energy projects.

“It will work with key energy companies and organisations including the regulator Ofgem, the National Grid and the Electricity System Operator to remove obstacles and identify and resolve issues as they arise. This will speed up the connection of new power infrastructure to the grid, and cleaner, cheaper power to people’s homes and businesses.”

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Stark said: “Tackling the climate crisis and accelerating the transition to clean power is the country’s biggest challenge, and its greatest opportunity.

“By taking action now, we can put the UK at the forefront of the global race to net zero – driving down our carbon emissions but also cutting bills for households.”

Stark was head of the UK’s CCC for six years until January this year.

Previously, he was director of energy and climate change in the Scottish government between 2016 and 2018.

During his time at the CCC, the CCC recommended a UK net zero target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which became law.

Earlier this year, Stark said achieving net zero will not require a “huge shift” in everyday lives but the politicisation of net zero will be detrimental to the economy.

Commenting on the appointment to the Guardian, Shaun Spiers, executive director of the Green Alliance thinktank, said .“This shows the government is ambitious and serious about delivering on its clean energy promises, and is really reassuring.

“It’s been a very good few days [since the election] in action from Labour showing they want to get things done quickly.”

Circular economyClimate crisisEnergyInnovationNature and the environmentNet zeroNews

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