However, as the voting margin was so slim, many believe the amendment will be scrutinised rigorously at the House of Lords, as the energy bill moves to its next stage. 

Ex-member of the Conservative Shadow DECC, Jessica Lennard, told edie that the amendment had a “better chance at the House of Lords.”

“This was fear of three things: voters, whips, and the Chancellor – none of which have the same power in the Lords,” she added.

In October last year, the Aldersgate Group coordinated a letter to the Chancellor with the support of more than 50 large companies, stating that a 2030 carbon target for the power sector is essential for stimulating new growth in the economy.

Aldersgate Group executive director Andrew Raingold said that the debate surrounding the decarbonisation vote in the House of Commons revealed growing momentum behind the target, as well as among Conservative backbench MPs who rebelled against party whips.

“Just 12 more votes would have secured the carbon free power sector that businesses have been calling for. This provides growing impetus as the debate moves to the House of Lords in a few week’s time,” he said.

Yeo had claimed that accepting the 2030 decarbonisation target “would place Britain in the vanguard of the new Industrial Revolution.”

However, Secretary of State, Ed Davey had backed the Government’s position, which wanted the target to be delayed until after the next election in 2016.

WWF-UK head of climate and energy policy Nick Molho said: “It’s really disappointing that the decarbonisation target was rejected so narrowly.

“However with the Government scraping by with only 23 votes, MPs from all parties have sent a powerful signal that they are not convinced that the Coalition’s crude compromise is best for Britain. This issue is sure to return in the House of Lords where Parliament will have another opportunity to put it right.”

Conor McGlone

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