GREEN Party politicians in Stroud have welcomed the Government’s publication of Britain’s first community energy strategy, but have warned the Coalition its record on the environment could be undermined by its support for fracking.

The strategy, which was unveiled by the Government on Monday, January 27, sets out “the role that communities can play in helping to meet the UK’s energy and climate change challenges.”

It details how communities and local authorities can support a sustainable and secure energy system, reduce UK gas emissions and help to lower household bills.

The document, which can be viewed online, also gives examples of how communities are already coming together to generate electricity and heat, reduce energy use, save money on the energy they buy, and balance supply and demand.

Green Party district councillor Simon Pickering, who is chairman of SDC’s environment committee, said that whilst the Government had largely failed to live up to its promise of being the greenest Government ever, the publication of the community energy strategy was ‘encouraging’.

“This relatively small fund and repackaging of other schemes is to be welcomed as it partially replaces many of the funding streams previously cut,” he said.

“One excellent thing about community energy schemes is that they really bring home how much energy we often waste and the vital need to both cut energy use and generate more by renewable means.“

However, Cllr Pickering added: “While we applaud this move towards greater sustainability, it seems mad that the Government is talking about reducing greenhouse gas emissions on one hand, and promoting the use of shale gas on the other.”