On Friday 12th April we met with Jason McCartney to ask him to clarify his voting intentions regarding the Energy Bill.
Jason McCartney’s position was that he has not decided and will continue to discuss matters before the vote. The statement that we agreed reflected his position was:
“I am genuinely listening and will continue to consult widely about Tim Yeo’s amendment to the Energy Bill to ensure that it includes a target for near zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2030. Please don’t understand this as a politician sitting on the fence. I will tell my whip that I haven’t made my mind up yet. I will be listening to constituents, business people, colleagues and campaigners right up to the last minute. This is a really important thing to get right.”
Of course, this is disappointing.
It is now almost five months since we first met him to discuss the Energy Bill on 24th November and over two months since Tim Yeo tabled the amendment.
Jason McCartney’s failure to be clear in his mind about the merits of the amendment, supported by the Committee on Climate Change, the CBI and many other groups in society (see Joint statement on decarbonisation target) puts a small but significant brake on the momentum where MPs influence each other’s positions.
Nevertheless, we recognise that Jason McCartney’s position that he will share with his whips will have a certain (albeit lesser) impact on government and we hope that, in the fullness of time his research and conversations will lead him to support the amendment. This will be essential for reasons of climate safety, economic regeneration and energy security.
For further information please read our Press release .
We delivered a ‘footprint petition’ to Jason McCartney. This was an eight metre roll with over one hundred blue or green footprints on them, each one connected to the name of a ColneValley constituent who has called on Jason McCartney to support the target for virtually carbon-free electricity. We also delivered a portfolio of documents on the need for the carbon intensity target (produced by the Committee on Climate Change, businesses and NGOs among others) for Jason McCartney to read .
We will continue to press Jason McCartney and provide him with further information over the remaining weeks.
The day after meeting him we had another stall – outside the Co-op in Holmfirth – and collected over 100 postcards from his constituents which we will pass on to him over the next few weeks.
In addition to this we have approached Conservative MPs who have supported the amendment to ask them to speak to Jason McCartney about this matter in parliament. So far, Tim Yeo and Caroline Noakes have contacted us to tell us they will do this.
You can see images of us creating the footprint petition on