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Government confirms commitment to meeting renewable energy targets

18 August 2008

Andrew Furlong, Director of Policy at the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) says the Government is right in reconfirming its commitment to meeting renewable energy targets: “Global warming is a clear and present danger and we must maintain the pressure for a step change in behaviour.

Government confirms commitment to meeting renewable energy targets
Government confirms commitment to meeting renewable energy targets

“Renewables are a key part of the solution but it’s not a case of wind power versus nuclear, or wave power versus coal. We will need every tool in the box to combat climate change and all of these solutions have one thing in common – skills,” said Furlong.

In 2007, the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) warned that 2.4 million new science and technology graduates are needed in the UK by 2014. Despite a record number of students choosing to study chemical engineering at UK universities last year, Furlong says there is still much to be done: “Government and industry together must initiate a step change in support for science education.

“Without inspirational teachers all is lost; we might as well quit worrying, switch out the lights and prepare for a return to the middle-ages.

“Ultimately politicians won’t stop global warming – but well trained scientists and engineers just might.”
The energy document outlines the UK’s green plans, ahead of EU imposed targets of producing 15% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Miles Seaman, spokesperson for IChemE’s sustainability subject group said: “There are some important questions that must now be answered – who is going to pay for the work that’s needed and what is our capacity to deliver? Unless we operate on a ‘war against carbon dioxide’ footing, I think we are right to remain a little sceptical.” Furlong claimed

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