Paris is not a “perfect deal” admits Rudd

UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has hailed the Paris climate change agreement as an “extraordinary achievement”, while admitting “it’s not a perfect deal”.

Speaking on BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show, Ms Rudd said the negotiations went “down to the wire” and the final plenary session was suspended for an hour, while the final negotiations took place.

Ms Rudd also defended the track record of her own government, which has come in for sharp criticism from many in the renewable energy sector.

“We’re the first developed country to put an end date on coal,” said the Energy Secretary. “I received a lot of congratulations for that from people at this conference.

“We’re going to expand our offshore wind provision. We’re absolutely committed to this deal and to making sure we deliver on it, but we’re going to do it in a different way, which is providing better value for money for consumers.”

Ms Rudd also said she disagreed with recent comments made by the UN chief environmental scientist, Jacqui McGlade, that the UK is shifting away from clean energy as the rest of the world embraces it.

“In fact, the evidence since then, in terms of taking off coal and making other statements, I hope would bring her back on side,” said Ms Rudd.

“We’ve now made a clear policy about how we’re going to deliver on our carbon budgets and stick to the Climate Change Act.”

She also defended cuts to solar panel subsidies.

“The costs of solar have come down over the past 15 tears by 80% and we have to make sure that the subsidy reflects that,” said Ms Rudd. “I am going to be absolutely clear about this; if the costs come down, then the subsidy comes down. It is the right thing to do.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues