Bishop of Salisbury calls for substantial determined and transformative response to climate challenges

On 5th June 2019 Lord Cameron of Dillington led a debate on a motion “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to (1) harness the potential of tidal ranges to generate renewable energy, and (2) encourage the private sector to invest in this area.” The Lord Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke in the debate:


The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, this debate has already become something of a no-brainer. Quite a lot of what I wanted to say has been said, so there is no point in repeating it, but I want to thank the noble Lord, Lord Cameron, for asking the Question which has generated the debate.

The context is one in which we see a climate emergency, an increasing number of councils across the country responding to it and the other place in Parliament recognising that. Whatever we think of Extinction Rebellion, it has raised the public profile and urgency of the climate change debate and the environmental awareness of what is required of us as legislators. It cannot be business as usual.

Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury calls for substantial determined and transformative response to climate challenges”

Bishop of Durham asks Government about renewable energy and development

On the 15th May 2018 Baroness Sheehan asked the Government “how much overseas development assistance was spent on fossil fuel subsidies in the most recent reporting period.” The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow up question about small-scale, off-grid energy systems.

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, 1.06 billion people on the planet currently live without modern energy services. Renewable energy, particularly small-scale and off-grid energy systems, will play a key role in making sure that energy-poor communities have access to affordable and reliable electricity. DfID’s Energy Africa campaign is an excellent example of this. Will the Minister update the House on the progress of that campaign since its launch in 2015, and elaborate on the Government’s plans for spending on small-scale, off-grid energy systems? Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about renewable energy and development”

Division: Renewable energy feed in tariff regulations

Lords No Division LobbyOn the 2nd January 2016 the Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, took part in a division on the Governments Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) (No. 3) Order 2015.  Baroness Featherstone proposed that the Regulations, which would see cuts made to the tariffs, be annulled.

The House Divided: Content: 91 | Not Contents: 230 | Result: Government Win. 

The Bishop of Salisbury spoke in the debate . He voted Not Content.

(Via Parliament.UK)


Bishop of Salisbury points to gap between rhetoric and reality in Government policy on renewable energy

On the 2nd January 2016 the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, spoke during a debate on a motion from Baroness Featherstone to annul the Government’s Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) (No. 3) Order 2015. The Bishop spoke of a gap between the rhetoric and reality in the Government’s record on energy policy, citing the impact of cuts to feed in tariffs on the renewable energy sector.

Bp Salisbury 2The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, I am very grateful for this debate. When I joined this House last year, I was really struck by how it was possible to work with Members from all parts of the House in preparation for Paris and by the strong sense of common purpose with which we could work together. I am grateful for the contribution from the noble Lord, Lord Deben, in terms of what now happens, post-Paris, and how we move on. However, I am unable to support a fatal Motion. On the other hand, it is really important that the House discusses where the Government are with their energy policy, and that is what this debate is able to do. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury points to gap between rhetoric and reality in Government policy on renewable energy”

Bishop of Newcastle speaks in debate on wind farming in Northumberland

On 15th October 2014 Baroness Quin led a short debate in the House of Lords on the Government’s assessment of the extent of onshore wind farming in the county of Northumberland. The Lord Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Martin Wharton, contributed to the debate, making the case for an increased focus on the development of alternative forms of renewable energy outside the county of Northumberland.
14.03 Bishop of NewcastleThe Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, last Friday I took a relatively short train journey from Waterloo to Winchester, in the heart of the Hampshire countryside. The journey took little more than an hour, about the same time as it takes me to travel through my diocese from Newcastle to the Scottish border. There was a striking difference between those two train journeys. Obviously, there was no beautiful coast or even the odd castle on my trip to Hampshire, and yet to me the most striking difference was that there was not a wind turbine—let alone a wind farm—in sight at all. This is hardly surprising when you consider that Northumberland now has more wind power capacity installed than 16 counties in the south of England put together. It is then hardly surprising that a recent survey claimed that 70% of the British public support onshore wind. The truth is that 70% of the British public live in places where they will never have to put up with the sight or the sound of a wind turbine, unlike the people who happen to live in the beautiful county of Northumberland. During my time as bishop, wind farms have proliferated across the countryside to an alarming degree.

The level of Northumberland’s contribution to the Government’s onshore wind targets has been disproportionately high, as we have heard. We contribute more than 10% of all England’s wind energy but consume just over 0.5% of England’s electricity. Nobody should accuse us of nimbyism. It is hardly surprising then that the message from this short debate is simply: enough is enough. The good people of Northumberland have had enough of onshore wind farms. That point has finally, if belatedly, been recognised by DCLG in recent guidance, which states that it does not mean that,
“the need for renewable energy … overrides environmental protection and the planning concerns of local communities”. Continue reading “Bishop of Newcastle speaks in debate on wind farming in Northumberland”