Rishi Sunak has pledged to reinstate a separate Department for Energy should he become the UK’s next Prime Minister.
The former Chancellor, and frontrunner in the race for the top job, has told The Telegraph he would resurrect the department, which was abolished in 2016.
Then PM Theresa May subsumed the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) into the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which is today headed up by Kwasi Kwarteng.
Rishi Sunak told The Telegraph that re-establishing the department would help make the UK “energy independent”.
He would also establish an Energy Security Committee ahead of the coming winter to deal with the supply crunch and market reforms to cut bills.
Speaking to the newspaper, he said: “As energy bills skyrocket in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has never been more important that our country achieves energy sovereignty, so that we’re no longer reliant on the volatility of the global energy supply.”
“That’s why as prime minister I would introduce an ambitious new plan to make the UK energy independent, investing in vital new technologies.
“I am committed to Net Zero by 2050, but that can’t mean neglecting our energy security. So although the legal target for energy sovereignty will be 2045 and I will work night and day to ensure we beat that target, securing a safer future for the next generation.”
Sunak is one of three candidates remaining in the race to become Tory party leader and PM, alongside Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss.
It’s an incredibly strong field to be the next Conservative Leader & PM.
And I have worked in the Party and/or Government with all of them.
But for me, @RishiSunak is the stand-out choice for the job.
— Greg Hands (@GregHands) July 11, 2022
He remains the frontrunner, with a vote on Tuesday having given him backing of 118 MPs, including the current energy minister Greg Hands who described him as the “stand-out choice for the job”.
The party is due to conduct a another vote which will select the final two candidates.