UK prime minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday announced the creation of four new departments, including a new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
In a statement the government said this department will have the task to secure the country’s long-term energy supply, bring down bills and halve inflation. It will be led by Grant Shapps, who until now acted as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
“The move recognises the significant impact rising prices have had on households across the country as a result of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, and the need to secure more energy from domestic nuclear and renewable sources as we seize the opportunities of net zero,” the statement reads.
The government also forms a dedicated Department for Science, Innovation and Technology to help ensure the UK “is the most innovative economy in the world.”
The current Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy was created in a cabinet overhaul by Theresa May in 2016 by merging the previously existing Department of Energy and Climate Change and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The changes, announced today, also include a combined Department for Business and Trade and a re-focused Department for Culture, Media and Sport. According to the statement, they are aimed at supporting delivery of the prime minister’s five promises, namely to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut National Health Service (NHS) waiting lists and stop boats crossing the Channel.
The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) cautiously welcomed the creation of a net zero-focused department, wary of unnecessary delays related to the establishment of new departments. It also urged the government to adopt the recommendations of Chris Skidmore’s recent net zero review “ to hit the ground running.”
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