Archived press release
Press & Media

Responding to today’s Autumn Statement and gas strategy, Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said:

“Osborne’s statement smacks of the crass short-term desperation that’s fast becoming the hallmark of this Government – it will do nothing to build a strong, future-proofed economy or safeguard our planet. 

“The anti-green Chancellor is making a mess of the economy – he mustn’t be allowed to trample all over our environment too.”

GAS STRATEGY

“The big polluters must think Christmas has come early - but if bad Santa Osborne’s gas-fired energy strategy gets the go-ahead it will leave cash-strapped households and the environment with a thumping hang-over for decades. 

“While Energy Secretary Ed Davey attempts to show leadership at the Doha climate talks, the Chancellor is hard at work handing out tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry that threaten to make a mockery of UK commitments to slash emissions.  

“MPs must stop this reckless, headlong dash for gas and insist on an energy strategy that puts the long-term interests of the nation first - by investing in energy efficiency and the huge potential of the wind, waves and sun.

SHALE GAS

Commenting of the Chancellor’s plans to encourage a surge in shale gas, Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said:

“A green light for shale gas would be a costly mistake for our country and countryside. Unleashing fracking on communities across the nation would threaten their environment and keep the nation hooked on dirty fossil fuels for decades – and all for an energy source that’s unlikely to lower fuel bills.

“People up and down the UK will be rightly alarmed about being guinea pigs in Osborne’s fracking experiment – it’s unnecessary, unwanted and unsafe. 

Marion Seed from Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth, a local group campaigning against fracking in their Conservative-controlled area, said:

“Local people are extremely alarmed by George Osborne’s fracking plans – they could pollute our clean water and air, threaten house prices and destroy our vital farming and tourism sectors.

“We will fight any plans that could turn a beautiful part of the Lancashire countryside into a wasteland.”

FUEL DUTY

Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said:

“Motorists will continue to pay a heavy price until we wean our cars off of their dependency on petrol and diesel.

 “A few pence off fuel duty is simply tinkering under the bonnet - Ministers must completely overhaul their motoring strategy so we can have cleaner, cheaper transport in the future.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1.    A new Friends of the Earth briefing reveals George Osborne has already given a number of fossil fuel tax breaks – and more are in the pipeline: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/tax_breaks.pdf

2.    A Friends of the Earth briefing on how the Chancellor turned his back on going green:  http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/media_briefing/retoxified.pdf

3.    Shale gas and fracking: 10 key questions the Government must answer: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/fracking_10_questions.pdf

4.      Last month, Friends of the Earth published the names of over 100 businesses, parties and charities backing the inclusion of a target in the Energy Bill to switch to green electricity by 2030: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefing_notes/2030_decarb_for_against.pdf. The Chancellor George Osborne, and energy companies Centrica and RWE, were shown to be the only major public opposition. 

5.    Friends of the Earth welcomes the cash announced for wind power to enable the Government to meet its legal obligations on renewable targets.

6.    Friends of the Earth’s Clean British Energy campaign, backed by Deborah Meaden, is urging the Government to listen to the public and transform our broken energy system by developing clean and affordable power from our wind, sun and water. For too long the Big Six energy companies have locked Britain into importing costly gas and coal – causing our fuel bills to rocket. Now 85 per cent of people want the Government to back UK renewable power instead. This, and cutting energy waste, will stabilise fuel bills and create new jobs. To find out more and back the campaign, visit www.cleanbritishenergy.co.uk

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