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DECC to lose 200 jobs

Energy secretary Amber Rudd will be forced to cut one civil servant job in eight in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR),

The move is set to reignite criticism that the government is neglecting the fight against climate change, The Independent has reported.

Stephen Lovegrove, the permanent secretary at the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), told MPs that 200 staff will leave through a “voluntary exit scheme”.

At 1,600 staff, the DECC is already one of Whitehall’s smallest departments and the redundancies have sparked accusations that the government will struggle to develop effective green energy policy.

In July, Ms Rudd cut renewable energy subsidies, which have led to job losses in the solar industry. A letter leaked last week revealed she has also warned cabinet colleagues that the UK will be nearly 25% short of its clean energy target for 2020.

The jobs cull comes ahead of December’s UN climate change conference in Paris, which has been billed as one of the most important summits on tackling carbon emissions in history. 

Chancellor George Osborne has asked all but a handful of protected departments to make spending cuts of up to 40% so he can meet his pledge to balance the country’s books by the end of this parliament.

The DECC is the first department to spell out the job losses that will occur as a result. It was one of the first four to agree its CSR settlement with the Chancellor. The others were Local Government and Communities, the Ministry of Justice and the Treasury itself.

The wider cuts across Whitehall will be revealed in the CSR, announced alongside the Autumn Statement on 25 November.

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