#SustyTalk: Energy Saving Trust’s Stew Horne on fixing British energy efficiency policy

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#SustyTalk is all about keeping edie’s loyal readers connected to sustainability leaders across the world, whilst reminding us all that sustainability and climate action must go on through the current cost of living crisis and beyond. It launched in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 and has continued since then, keeping us connected to the leaders who are continuing to drive sustainable business and climate action.

For this latest #SustyTalk episode, edie’s deputy editor Sarah George is in conversation with Energy Saving Trust’s head of policy Stew Horne. 

Horne provides his reflections on whether Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s new 2035 energy efficiency targets and related post-2025 spending are sufficient, following a policy response to the energy price crisis that has lacked the focus on demand-side measures which has proven successful in other European nations.

He argues that a robust focus on energy efficiency can address all parts of the energy trilemma – security, cost and the low-carbon transition.

He also discusses how the green economy can craft meaningful engagement with policymakers on energy efficiency and flexibility at this key moment in time – the UK is most likely less than a year away from a General Election, impacting its percieved ability to pass big policy packages. Conservative Party MPs are also rowing over whether certain parts of Britain’s net-zero policy approach should be shelved or scrapped as they are percieved to be too expensive in a cost-of-living crisis.

Horne explains: “Now is the time, really, for giving those clear signals on how we’re going to have a comprehensive strategy for meeting our [climate] targets. It’s not the time to be jeapordising our ambitions for short-term gain.

“Achieving net-zero by 2050 is a legally binging commitment that was made by the UK Government less than five years ago. In order to deliver that, we need to put in long-term commitments that go beyond the electoral cycle and are committed to by government after government.”

Click here to see our catalogue of #SustyTalk interviews

Want to be featured on a future episode of #SustyTalk? Email [email protected]. Please bear in mind that our interview calendar is now booked for August and September.

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