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George Osborne Doesn’t Believe Chris Huhne’s Green Energy Statistics

I know from private briefings that the Chancellor does not quite share Mr Huhne’s green enthusiasm. Mr Osborne wants more realistic targets.

At the Lib Dem conference Energy Secretary Chris Huhne denied to me in a BBC interview (and then to the conference) that the various green measures of which he is an enthusiast was helping drive up energy bills.

Indeed he claimed that his various energy-saving measures would actually cut bills over time. That is clearly not the Chancellor’s view.

More realistic targets

Mr Osborne acknowledged that green policies were “piling costs on the energy bills of households and companies”. He went on to say that Britain should not be cutting carbon emissions any faster than the rest of the EU. At the moment we are trying to meet tougher targets than any other major European economy.

The Chancellor said he’d made it clear that the current energy review should reign in Britain’s position as a green outlier.

I didn’t get the impression at the Lib Dem conference that Mr Huhne’s heart was in that. He seemed quite proud of the idea of Britain leading the green field.

I know from private briefings that the Chancellor does not quite share Mr Huhne’s green enthusiasm. Mr Osborne wants more realistic targets. Mr Huhne wants to be a pathfinder. Who will win? Watch this space.

BBC News, 4 October 2011