Spending Review ‘shockingly bad’

Announcement does little to show government recognises enormity of climate crisis
  Published:  27 Oct 2021    |      1 minute read

Commenting on today’s budget and spending review, Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, Mike Childs, said:

“With only days to go before Boris Johnson hosts crucial talks in Glasgow, this financial announcement was shockingly bad, and will do little to show his government recognises the enormity of the climate crisis we face.

“Fast-tracking the shift to a zero-carbon economy, with much greater investment in our homes, public transport and nature, should have been at the heart of Rishi Sunak’s plans. Instead climate change hardly featured.

“Despite the Chancellor’s window-dressing, his plans will simply prolong the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels and makes it far harder to seize the substantial job and export opportunities that climate leadership would bring.

“Failing to rapidly decarbonise our economies will leave the planet facing the effects of extreme heat, flooding, and wildfires. The Chancellor has let down young people and the poorest in society, who have done least to contribute to the climate emergency.”

APD

“Cutting Air Passenger Duty on domestic flights is an astonishing move that completely flies in the face of the climate emergency. The Chancellor should be making it cheaper for people to travel around the country by train, not carbon-guzzling planes.

“Air Passenger Duty for all flights should have been increased, or even better replaced with a frequent flyers levy, aimed at curbing multiple flights taken by a minority of people each year.

“As the Prime Minister prepares to host next week’s crucial climate summit, this retrograde step is another illustration that the government’s carbon reduction plans don’t add up.”

Roads

“Continuing to spend more than £20 billion on new roads and freezing fuel duty continues to send transport policy in the wrong direction and is incompatible with fighting climate breakdown. This investment should be targeted at making it easier for people to get around without driving, including free bus travel for under 30s, high quality cycling and walking infrastructure, and making space for nature. Green, healthy cities are the future, not urban areas clogged with traffic, worsening human health and habitats.”

ENDS