Rudd’s Challenge: Keeping Britain’s Lights On While Reducing Carbon Emissions

Following their victory last week, Conservative Amber Rudd was named to serve as the U.K. Cabinet minister in charge of energy and climate, easing concerns that the Conservative government would quickly backtrack on pledges to reduce fossil-fuel pollution.

Rudd, 51, was promoted from a junior post at the Department of Energy & Climate Change where she spoke frequently in support of the previous government’s policy backing renewables as a way to cut global warming emissions.

Her appointment brings a Conservative to the leadership of the department for the first time since 1997. While David Cameron’s party extended support for solar and wind power, it also has promised to halt the spread of onshore wind farms that some members of the party see as a blight on rural landscapes.

Rudd faces the triple challenge in her new role of ensuring Britain’s lights stay on while reducing carbon emissions and keeping energy bills down after the cost of electricity and heating became an electoral flash-point.

She replaces Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat member of Parliament who lost his seat in the Conservative general election victory last week.

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13 May