Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, has the following response to the decision today to approve the construction of Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk:
“Sizewell C is massively costly, achingly slow, and carries huge unnecessary risks. Its approval marks Boris Johnson taking one final opportunity to kick the public in the teeth before his departure as Prime Minister.
"This project is expected to cost up to £30 billion; and in following the Regulated Asset Base business model, it will pass that enormous upfront cost directly onto the consumer. As energy bills soar ever higher and this lame duck Government leaves people in the lurch, the last thing the public needs right now is a massively costly nuclear white elephant. Even cabinet ministers are already expressing reservations about its value for money.
"When we need oven-ready solutions to delivering energy security and slashing bills, Sizewell C simply is not one of them. Hinkley Point C will have taken the best part of two decades to go from planning to production, and it’s still years behind schedule. This Sizewell plant could take anywhere between 10-17 years to build.
"Meanwhile, there are hundreds of energy-saving options and clean, cheap and home-grown renewable projects ready to go – yet solar farms are being refused at their highest rate for five years, the Government has utterly failed to adopt a retrofit revolution to slash energy bills, and now Tory leadership candidates are vowing to block onshore wind power which could be operational within days.
"Rubber stamping Sizewell C is simply Boris Johnson’s woeful final attempt at making his Prime Ministerial mark – it’s befitting of him that this vanity project is the wrong answer at the wrong time.”
Julian Cusack, chair of Suffolk Coastal Green Party, said: "For Boris Johnson to claim Sizewell C as his legacy is just outrageous. It is the wrong and unproven technology in the wrong place and will deliver the most expensive electricity sometime in the next decade. It is totally irrelevant to today’s energy cost crisis and will do wanton damage to prized landscapes and fragile local communities."