A new independent Sustainable Energy Agency (SEA) is needed in the UK if the country is to meet its environmental targets, says the Green Alliance, a British environmental policy group. With the right powers and resources the agency could deliver on current targets for renewable energy, combined heat and power, energy efficiency and climate change, as well as oversee the much more radical changes needed in the following decades. The agency would cut across government institutions, providing better co-ordination and clearer focus. It would allow more rapid action and would integrate targets and objectives and help resolve conflicts between differing policies. The SEA should operate at arm's length from government, but report jointly to the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Welsh Office, with parallel machinery in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In its report "The case for a Sustainable Energy Agency" , the Green Alliance also proposes a new Cabinet Office Unit and Cabinet Committee to consider issues such as renewables strategy, policies to promote biomass, planning and wind farms, and to resolve intra-governmental policy differences. Its work would be complemented by strengthening the powers of the office of the Energy Regulator for promoting sustainable energy.
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