Will Autumn Statement spell more bad news for the environment?
Short-sighted policies expected to be unveiled by the Chancellor, George Osborne, in his Autumn Statement on Thursday (5 December 2013) could have a disastrous impact on jobs and efforts to tackle climate change, Friends of the Earth warned today.
The environment charity is expecting the Chancellor to (see briefing below):
• Confirm plans – already unveiled – to cut insulation funding by at least £550 million per year, which will threaten thousands of jobs;
• Set out massive tax breaks for fracking – despite the fact experts say it won’t cut fuel bills
• Update plans for building new infrastructure projects, which may involve new roads and a scaling back of ambition for off-shore wind.
Friends of the Earth’s Economics Campaigner David Powell said:
“Earlier this week MPs slammed Osborne for subsidising fossil fuels and nuclear power - while bending over backwards to axe household insulation schemes, which will threaten people’s health and jeopardise jobs.
"Building a strong economy and protecting the environment are two sides of the same coin. George Osborne should throw his weight behind the economic goldmine of limitless, carbon-free energy from the wind, waves and sun.”
Notes to editors
1. Autumn Statement 2013 – Friends of the Earth briefing.
2. Earlier this week the Environmental Audit Committee of MPs published a major report urging the Chancellor to be honest about the subsidies he’s giving to nuclear power and fossil fuels – and warning him not to roll back on energy saving and help for renewable technologies.
3. For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk
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