human activity and the destruction of the planet

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Nothing in the Budget to combat climate change

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:‘unforgivable-betrayal’-on-climate-change-in-budget/ar-BBPeusn?ocid=spartandhp

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Labour’s Manifesto on Sustainable Energy


Labour’s 2017 energy policy is built on three simple principles:

  • To ensure security of energy supply and ‘keep the lights on’.
  • To ensure energy costs are affordable for consumers and businesses.
  • To ensure we meet our climate change targets and transition to a low-carbon economy.

The UK energy system is outdated, expensive and polluting. Privatisation has failed to deliver an energy system that delivers for people, businesses or our environment.

One in ten households are in fuel poverty, yet the Competition Markets Authority found customers are overcharged an enormous £2 billion every year.

Labour understands that many people don’t have time to shop around, they just want reliable and affordable energy. So the next Labour Government will:

  • Introduce an immediate emergency price cap to ensure that the average dual-fuel
  • household energy bill remains below £1,000 per year, while we transition to a fairer system for bill payers.
  • Take energy back into public ownership to deliver renewable energy, affordability for consumers, and democratic control. We will do this in the following stages:
    • Regaining control of energy supply networks through the alteration of the National and Regional Network Operator license conditions.
    • Supporting the creation of publicly owned, locally accountable energy companies and co-operatives to rival existing private energy suppliers, with at least one in every region.
    • Legislating to permit publicly owned local companies to purchase the regional grid infrastructure, and to ensure that national and regional grid infrastructure is brought into public ownership over time.

Labour will insulate four million homes as an infrastructure priority to help those who suffer in cold homes each winter. This will cut emissions, improve health, save on bills, and reduce fuel poverty and winter deaths.

Homeowners will be offered interest- free loans to improve their property. For renters, Labour will improve on existing Landlord Energy Efficiency regulations and re-establish the Landlord Energy Saving Allowance to encourage the uptake of efficiency measures.

Labour will ban fracking because it would lock us into an energy infrastructure based on fossil fuels, long after the point in 2030 when the Committee on Climate Change says gas in the UK must sharply decline.

Emerging technologies such as carbon capture and storage will help to smooth the transition to cleaner fuels and to protect existing jobs as part of the future energy mix. To safeguard the offshore oil and gas industry, we will provide a strategy focused on protecting vital North Sea assets, and the jobs and skills that depend on them.

We are committed to renewable energy projects, including tidal lagoons, which can help create manufacturing and energy jobs as well as contributing to climate- change commitments.

The UK has the world’s oldest nuclear industry, and nuclear will continue to be part of the UK energy supply. We will support further nuclear projects and protect nuclear workers’ jobs and pensions. There are considerable opportunities for nuclear power and decommissioning both internationally and domestically.

Building a clean economy of the future is the most important thing we must do for our children, our grandchildren and future generations. Yet recent years have seen a failure to progress towards our targets. A Labour government will put us back on track to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act and the Paris Agreement.

The low-carbon economy is one of the UK’s fastest-growing sectors, creating jobs and providing investment across each region. It employed an estimated 447,000 employees in the UK in 2015 and saw over £77 billion in turnover. With backing from a Labour government, these sectors can secure crucial shares of global export markets.

Currently, the UK buys and sells energy tariff free from Europe, an arrangement which saves families and businesses money, and helps balance the power grid. As part of the Brexit negotiations, Labour will prioritise maintaining access to the internal energy market. Labour will also retain access to Euratom, to allow continued trade of fissile material, with access and collaboration over research vital to our nuclear industry.

Also, it may be of interest to readers to view a youtube video made last September:
Also, a longer 11-page paper, Protecting our Planet, written by Jeremy Corbyn in August 2015, can be found at: