Pete P's OBE threat changes UK coal policy

Date 24th Apr 2009

Just over a month ago, on the 15th March 2009, in a solar-powered cinema tent in London's Leicester Square, Pete Postlethwaite and the Age of Stupid team ambushed Ed Miliband (who was a guest at the premiere) with a giant pledge. Pete's pledge said that, if Ed commissioned a new coal power station at a place called Kingsnorth then he, Pete, would never vote Labour again - and also give his OBE (awarded for services to acting) back to the Queen. See the video below for the classic look on Ed's face (though we have to say he handled the surprise rather well). 

The big news in today is that the UK Government has changed its UK coal policy! It's not exactly what we were arguing for, but it's a good start: from now on, no new coal-fired power station will  get government consent unless it can capture and bury 25% of the emissions it produces immediately - and 100% of emissions by 2025 (when the technology will be better). A Government source told The Guardian that it is "a complete rewrite of UK energy policy". We asked Ed whether our antics at the premiere had had any influence on the decision, to which he replied "Of course". If that's not an absolutely classic example of well-timed direct action achieving demonstrable results, we can't think what is.

Skip to 14m16s to see Ed's face when Pete threatens to never vote Labour again:

Update 7th October 2009: the energy company trying to build the new power station at Kingsnorth, Eon, today threw in the towel, blaming the recession for falls in demand for electricity.