Amber Rudd and Matthew Hancock have been named ministers in the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), replacing Michael Fallon and Greg Barker.
Both Rudd and Hancock previously worked for Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and some commentators feel their appointments might mean Osborne is looking to influence energy policy.
A report in the Guardian has highlighted the new ministers’ track record of opposing wind and solar farms, as well as their support for fracking. Despite this, the appointments have been welcomed by a number of ‘green’ associations.
Outgoing Energy Minister Michael Fallon was promoted to Defence Secretary, whereas Greg Barker resigned from his post and is expected to take up a role advising the Prime Minister on green issues.
‘Hancock will be poised to ensure that tens of thousands of [green] jobs are realised’
Maria McCaffery chief executive at RenewableUK, a not for profit renewable energy trade association, said: “Mr Hancock brings with him strong experience in business and skills from his previous role as Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise.
“The jobs of the future are in green energy, and with a dual remit across the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Mr Hancock will be poised to ensure that these tens of thousands of jobs are realised.”
The Renewable Energy Association also welcomed the new ministers and said it looked forward to working with them.
Davey: ‘Looking forward to welcoming Matthew Hancock and Amber Rudd to DECC’
Speaking on the announcement, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “I’m looking forward to welcoming Matthew Hancock and Amber Rudd to DECC. They join us as we are increasingly demonstrating the success of our policies to meet Britain’s energy and climate change challenge.
“I want to thank Michael Fallon and Greg Barker for their immense contributions to turning around the legacy of energy underinvestment we inherited. I was particularly grateful to Greg for his support on my battles on climate and to Michael, for his backing for my pro-competition approach to the Big Six.”
Davey added that Rudd and Hancock would play key roles in helping the Government achieve its green targets.