The UK’s Chancellor issued a new Budget last Monday but, to the shock of many people, there was nothing in it in response to the recent UN-commissioned report showing that urgent action in required to avoid runaway climate change.
The Chancellor setting off from Downing Street on Monday
Now, a letter has been written to the Prime Minister by a group of MPs and leaders of environmental organisations to castigate her for this oversight. They believe that the Budget is “an unforgivable betrayal of future generations” due to its “worrying lack” of a policy on climate change. There has also been no Governmental response to the recent UN Report, which the Government appears to have ignored.
The group behind the letter include the Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas and six other MPs, together with the CEOs of Greenpeace, 10:10 Climate Action and Global Witness. One of them is quoted as saying, “Not only did the chancellor fail to mention climate change in his speech, but the policies he put forward, from subsidy to polluters via the fuel duty freeze to a mass road building programme, will increase the UK’s climate impact.”
The only green initiative announced was £60 million towards planting trees – 500 times less than the sum going towards roads. The letter in its entirety is shown below.
Dear Prime Minister,
On Monday, your Government presented its Budget and, in doing so, revealed a profoundly worrying lack of policy changes to combat the greatest threat of our time: climate change. Not only did the Chancellor fail to mention climate change in his speech but the policies he put forward – from subsidy to polluters via the fuel duty freeze to a mass road building programme – will increase the UK’s climate impact.
With fracking now proceeding, and continued tax breaks handed out to fossil fuel firms, we believe it is now vital we call out failure from a generation of politicians who will not live to see the devastation that their policies will wreak on future generations.
The most recent IPCC report was very clear about what Governments need to urgently do – yet your Government has all but ignored its publication in this Budget. We should be very clear here about timescales. It’s almost too late already, so pushing policy-making into the long grass of Brexit at this stage represents an abject failure to govern in the interests of the people you are elected to serve.
We do not accept that individuals in the Government do not care about climate change, nor that it’s too late to change course. We simply state here and now that the Budget must be a nadir for this Government’s tainted record – and that urgent action in the coming days must be announced. Anything short of that would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations.
Caroline Lucas MP
Clive Lewis MP
Liz Saville-Roberts MP
Anna McMorrin MP
Tim Farron MP
Alex Sobel MP
Roger Godsiff MP
Gillian Caldwell, CEO, Global Witness
John Sauven, Director, Greenpeace
Hugh Tagholm, Director, Surfers Against Sewage
Guppi Bola, Director, Medact
Alice Bell, Director, 10:10 Climate Action
See also: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/environment/mps-and-environmental-groups-accuse-theresa-may-of-‘unforgivable-betrayal’-on-climate-change-in-budget/ar-BBPeusn?ocid=spartandhp