Budget will do nothing to close glaring gaps in UK’s failing climate plans
Commenting on today’s Budget, Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, Mike Childs, said:
“Jeremy Hunt’s budget falls far short of the urgent need to address both the cost of living and climate crises.
“Backing expensive technologies like carbon capture and storage and a new nuclear programme, while still blocking cheap onshore wind in England and failing to properly insulate the UK's heat-leaking homes, will leave the UK hooked on high energy costs and falling behind in the global race to benefit from the transition to greener economies.
“With industries such as steel increasingly viewing hydrogen as the energy source of the future, the development of carbon capture and storage is now less critical than it once was. CCS is starting to look like a technology aimed at prolonging the life of the fossil fuel industry – funded by the taxpayer and higher bills.
“Nuclear power is much more expensive than renewables and innovations in energy storage will soon make it redundant for balancing energy needs during periods of low wind or solar. Investment in this sector is simply throwing good money after bad.
“This budget will do nothing to close the glaring gaps in the UK’s failing climate plans which were found to be unlawful by the High Court last year. When it comes to the environment, this government isn’t working.”
Responding to the Treasury’s earlier announcement on the Energy Price Guarantee being extended, Mr Childs added:
“An extension of the energy bills support scheme will provide some relief to the millions of people struggling with the cost of living crisis. But even with the Energy Price Guarantee still in place, bills will be almost double what they were before the energy crisis.
“With so many people being pushed into extreme levels of hardship, the government must invest in the solutions that will bring down energy bills and harmful emissions now and for the future. A street-by-street insulation programme starting with those most in need and investment in cheap, popular, homegrown renewables are crucial.”
Notes: The government has been ordered to publish a revised Net Zero Strategy by the end of March after the High Court found the current one to be unlawful following a successful legal challenge by Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and Good Law Project last year.