A poll of 101 prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs), carried out by polling company ComRes on behalf of RenewableUK, has been put forward by campaigning group Embrace as evidence that PPCs should be more vocal in their support of renewables, in line with public opinion. Embrace is now launching a pledge and encouraging its supporters to get their parliamentary candidates to sign up.
Four questions were posed, examining the need for more onshore wind power, investment in the electricity grid and renewables, the EU 15% target for renewables by 2020 and action on planning. The results show that just over half of the PPCs ‘agree strongly’ that ‘expansion of onshore wind is essential if the UK is to deliver on its renewable energy targets’.
Further results show that 83% support the aim of securing 15% of the country’s energy from renewables by 2020, in line with European Union targets, and that 85% of the PPCs also agree that ‘investment in new electricity grid infrastructure, renewable generation (including wind farms) and other forms of generating capacity is a top priority over the next 20 years’.
Liberal Democrats are most enthusiastic about investment (100% agreeing strongly), with Labour PPCs most keen to ‘ensure large energy infrastructure projects progress quickly through the planning system’ (83% agreeing or agreeing strongly).
Adam Bell, Embrace Campaign Coordinator at RenewableUK said: "This poll suggests that there is a certain amount of disconnect between the voters and political candidates. Year after year, independent polls suggest that over 80% of the people in this country support further deployment of wind energy. Politicians need to be told that NIMBYs don’t represent how British people actually think."
Bell announced the launch of the ‘I am a WIMBY’ campaign: "Hundreds of supporters of the renewable energy campaign Embrace will be writing to parliamentary candidates in their constituencies, asking them to sign the WIMBY (Wind In My Back Yard) pledge and state that they’d be happy to have a wind farm built near where they live. Efforts of Embrace’s supporters today are crucial to our future energy supply – many of the candidates we’re asking to become WIMBYs will form our next parliament."
Embrace my planet – the campaign to support renewables, is an initiative intended to activate the latent support for wind power, found in poll after poll. Its website can be found at http://embracemyplanet.com
Public support figures taken from 2009 DECC Renewable energy awareness and attitudes research is available at
Methodology note: ComRes surveyed 101 prospective parliamentary candidates who are likely to win or retain their seats at the next General Election. Surveys were completed online between 5 February and 9 March 2010. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables are available at http://www.comres.co.uk