Greg Clark Appointed to Head U.K. Business and Energy Department

The new Prime Minister's decision to merge BIS and DECC would suggest the Prime Minister hopes to see greater collaboration and cohesion between the two departments on future policy-making.

"If Theresa May supports strong action on climate change, as she's previously said, it's essential that this is made a top priority for the new business and energy department and across government".

"The newly created Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy represents a golden opportunity to put sustainable business at the heart of jobs and prosperity".

Sajid Javid, the previous Business Secretary, replaces Mr Clark at the Department for Communities and Local Government, which is considered a lower profile role. Mr Clark becomes Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The new secretary, who served as shadow energy secretary between 2008-2010, has caused controversy among the renewables industry by raising the bar for planning applications in England for onshore wind.

David Palmer-Jones, chief executive at Suez, added: "As a long term investor in United Kingdom energy and recycling infrastructure, Suez welcomes any rationalisation of government departments to ensure the creation of more joined up, long-term strategic policy planning at a national level to help us build the power stations, produce the resources and create opportunities for a skilled labour force the country needs".

Clark said: "I am thrilled to have been appointed. leading government's relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change". The renewable energy industry has faced some tough challenges over the past year, but now we have clarity on the make-up of the new administration we can move forward.

Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit director Richard Black added: "Greg Clark is an excellent appointment - he understands climate change, and has written influential papers on the benefits of Britain developing a low-carbon economy".

The Institute for Government questioned the wisdom of such a major overhaul of the energy and business portfolios.

Responding to the news, Mr Miliband tweeted: "DECC abolition just plain stupid. I want to see concrete action to transform our energy system and clear policies for meeting the UK's decarbonisation commitments".

He said: "Does the minister agree that the scrapping of the Department of Energy and Climate Change can only be taken as a signal that the new Government attaches less significance to these important issues?"

The news comes amid a string Government cabinet reshuffles which has seen Andrea Leadsom appointed as the new Environment Secretary at Defra.

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