Chancellor warned against a carbon-boosting budget
19 March 2013
Budgetary measures that increase the UK's dependency on fossil fuels would have a disastrous impact on the UK's economic and environmental wellbeing, Friends of the Earth said today (Tuesday 19 March 2013).
The environment charity warned the Chancellor that with our creaking, dirty energy system needing over £100 billion of investment, he has isolated himself from major energy investors like Alstom, Vestas, SSE and Mitsubishi by refusing to support a 2030 target for decarbonising the energy sector.
Instead of encouraging the UK's huge clean energy potential from the wind, waves and sun, George Osborne has kept the UK hooked on fossil fuels - with nearly a billion pounds in tax breaks given to North Sea oil and gas production between the 2012 Budget and January 2013.
Friends of the Earth is urging George Osborne to:
• Develop low-carbon infrastructure projects. The Chancellor should develop clean British energy rather than build new gas power stations; insulate homes to help slash household energy bills; and repair existing roads, rather than building new ones.
• End tax breaks for fossil fuels and introduce a moratorium on UK shale gas. Encouraging the development of renewable energy would help position the UK at the forefront of the future low-carbon global economy.
Friends of the Earth Economics Campaigner David Powell, said:
"George Osborne may not care about saving the planet, but he can't continue to ignore the calls of major businesses and energy investors for robust support for clean energy and infrastructure.
"The UK sits on an economic goldmine - hundreds of thousands of jobs could be created across the country if we harness the clean energy revolution and invest in helping every home to slash waste.
"With our economy at a critical crossroads, the Chancellor risks going down in history as the man whose fossil fueled obsession drove the UK into an economic and environmental dead end."
Notes to editors
1. Please see Friends of the Earth Budget 2013 briefing.
2. Friends of the Earth campaigners are available for comment on Budget day (Wednesday 20 March 2013); please contact the press office - 020 7566 1649.
3. For further information on fossil fuel tax breaks please see Guardian article.
4. Earlier this month six of the world's largest energy manufacturers - Alstom, Mitsubishi, Doosan, Areva, Vestas and Gamesa - wrote to the Chancellor to warn that they would not be able to invest or create jobs unless a decarbonisation target is set in the Energy Bill.
If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.
Published by Friends of the Earth Trust
Last modified: Mar 2013