Government reveals how nuclear differences will be resolved by the coalition parties

The government has agreed a process that will let the Liberal Democrats maintain their opposition to nuclear power while allowing the new administration to put in place the new national planning policy needed before construction of new reactors can go-ahead.
How the two parties will deal with this issue - which divides them -is highlighted in a document released today which spells out the terms of the deal between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, now in coalition.
Under this arrangement the government will complete the drafting of a national planning statement on nuclear and put it before Parliament. Although a Liberal Democrat spokesman will speak against the planning statement, Liberal Democrat MPs will abstain when the National Policy Statement (NPS) is voted on.
This exercise will not be regarded as an issue of confidence, the coalition document agreed by the two parties has made clear. 
This document also spells out the elements of a joint environmental and energy programme which will include an emissions performance standard for new coal-fired generation and a floor price for carbon.

The two parties have signed up to: 
• the establishment of a smart grid and the roll-out of smart meters; 
• the full establishment of feed-in tariff systems in electricity - as well as the maintenance of banded ROCs; 
• measures to promote a huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion; 
• the creation of a green investment bank; 
• the provision of home energy improvement paid for by the savings from lower energy bills; 
• measures to encourage marine energy; 
• the establishment of an emissions performance standard that will prevent coal-fired power stations being built unless they are equipped with sufficient CCS to meet the emissions performance standard 
• the provision of a floor price for carbon, as well as efforts to persuade the EU to move towards full auctioning of ETS permits; 
• mandating a national recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. 
• continuation of the present Government's proposals for public sector investment in CCS technology for four coal-fired power stations; and a specific commitment to reduce central government carbon emissions by 10 per cent within 12 months. 
In addition the two parties have agreed to "seek to increase the target for energy from renewable sources, subject to the advice of the Climate Change Committee".