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Government accused of 'illegal' cuts to green subsidies

The Conservative government has been heavily criticised for rolling back investment in renewable and greener energy technologies even as it celebrates reaching an international deal to cut global emissions.

Ed Davey said cuts to investment in green energy could break the law Credit: PA

David Cameron has joined other world leaders in celebrating this weekend’s ground-breaking climate deal in Paris.

But Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat former environment secretary, said George Osborne risked breaking the law by failing to ensure the UK meets tough emissions cuts set in law by the 2008 Climate Change Act.

"The way they've cut the carbon capture storage programme - where the UK was one of the leaders in the world - is a national disgrace," Mr Davey told the Murnaghan politics show on Sky News.

"They've still got to abide by law. The Climate Change Act still is in place."

I'd call on George Osborne and the Government - make it clear your energy policies will be in line with Climate Change Act and the renewable energy directive from EU.

If you don't you're actually breaking ministerial codes because you've got a legal obligation, Mr Osborne, to act legally and your energy policies are putting the Government in an illegal position in my view.

– Ed Davey

Labour politician and Chair of the Council of Europe's Environment committee, also said that the government is “going in the opposite direction” to the Paris conference by focusing on cost-savings over ecology concerns.

“It’s giving subsidies to the oil industries and removing it from the renewables,” he said.

“The conference is saying we must make a fundamental change about saving the planet, not necessarily saving the money, which seems to be the obsession of this government.”

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