FoE promises legal action over FITs

Environmental charity Friends of the Earth has given the Government seven days to reverse cuts to renewables subsidies otherwise it will launch legal action.

The campaigning charity says changes to Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) the Government ‘must alter its plans’ to slash financial incentives for households and communities.

FoE plans to seek a judicial review relating to the fact the consultation ends after the December 12 cut off for new solar installations to get the long-term full FITs level.

Today (November 7) the charity has written to climate change minister, Greg Barker, (pictured) asking him to change his mind on the cuts by 4pm on Friday (November 11) or it will launch legal proceedings.

Solar Trade Association chairman, Howard Johns, speaking at edie’s Sustainable Leaders Forum last week talked about the possibility of legal action, but cited the example of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) as the main reason a challenge would not work.

However, he agreed with FoE’s view that the December 12 cut off point, two weeks before the consultation ends, is potentially ‘unlawful’.

FoE’s policy and campaigns director, Craig Bennett, said: “The Government is breaking the law with its plans to fast-track a solar industry kill-off – as well as jeopardising thousands of jobs and countless clean energy projects across the country.

“Significant time and money has been invested planning solar schemes for homes, schools and libraries – giving them just six weeks to install is completely unacceptable, and schemes have already been scrapped.

“Ministers must amend their proposals and extend the deadline for solar tariff payments, or face a judicial review.”

A DECC spokeswoman said: “We’re consulting on proposed new tariffs for a reason – to protect consumers from footing the bill for excessive subsidies.

“We can confirm that we have received two letters indicating an intention to start legal proceedings against the department on certain aspects of the current consultation and we will be responding to those letters in due course.”

Luke Walsh


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