British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, called on the UK to be a leader on energy and the environment, "from nuclear to renewables." Brown was speaking at his first Labour Party Annual Conference as Prime Minister, in Brighton.
He said that his vision was for Britain to be leading the global economy "by our skills and creativity, by our enterprise and flexibility, by our investment in transport and infrastructure - a world leader in science; a world leader in financial and business services; a world leader in energy and the environment from nuclear to renewables; a world leader in the creative industries; and yes - modern manufacturing too - drawing on the talents of all to create British jobs for British workers."
Brown's comments reinforce his positive position on UK nuclear policy, building on remarks made in Parliament on 4 July 2007, only a few days after he became Prime Minister. At that time he said "...we have made the decision to continue with nuclear power, and why the security of our energy supply is best safeguarded by building a new generation of nuclear power stations."
The UK government's provisional policy states that the UK needs diversity and flexibility in the energy mix and a policy framework that opens up the full range of low carbon options, including nuclear power. It also believes that preventing energy companies from investing in new nuclear power stations would increase the risk of not achieving the UK's long-term climate change and energy security goals, or achieving them at higher cost. However, this provisional policy is pending the conclusion of a consultation process underway in the UK.
Brown also announced that he will be asking the independent Climate Change Commission to examine whether the UK's current 60% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2050 should be stronger still. He also said he would work "tirelessly" for a new post-Kyoto UN climate change agreement with binding targets for all the richest countries.
WNA's Nuclear Power in the United Kingdom information paper
WNN: Gordon Brown positive on nuclear