Green is working, say campaigners in hard hat call for green jobs
Volunteers from Manchester Friends of the Earth equipped with green hard hats, banners and a solar panel lined up with Paul Goggins MP at Wythenshawe Market today (Saturday 13 October) to tell the Government that green is working but it must act to create more green jobs (see photos below).
The action is inspired by the famous 1970s Saatchi & Saatchi ‘Labour isn’t working’ ad for the Conservative Party – but this time it will have a green twist, with passers-by encouraged to take part.
Friends of the Earth says that green is working – recent figures from the Green Alliance  show that there are almost one million jobs already in the low carbon-sector.
The environmental charity is calling on the Government to block the Chancellor’s expensive dash-for-gas, which would see us hooked on costly and dirty imported gas and undermine investment in renewables. Instead the Government should use the Energy Bill  to develop more home-grown clean power from our wind, sea and sun, which will boost the economy and create thousands of jobs.
Manchester Friends of the Earth spokesperson Ali Abbas said:
“Green is working – while the UK struggles in a double-dip recession, the low-carbon sector is growing, paving the way to new jobs.
“Many more jobs and business opportunities could be created here in Greater Manchester if Ministers give the green light to renewable energy.
“We’re delighted that Paul Goggins MP is backing our campaign to make sure that the Government resists George Osborne’s attempts to keep Britain hooked on costly foreign gas.
“The majority of the public want their homes to be powered by clean British energy from our sun, wind and sea.”
A Populus poll commissioned by Friends of the Earth in September  revealed that around three quarters (72%) of people in the North West think that the Energy Bill should give high priority to renewable energy.
The Bill is being debated in Parliament from this November and will determine how the UK is powered for the next 20 years.
Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to include a target to green UK electricity by 2030 – as recommended by the independent Committee on Climate Change.
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High resolution photos are available on our Flickr page.
Notes to editor
- The Green Alliance report ‘Green economy: a UK success story’ is available to download from: http://www.green-alliance.org.uk/grea_p.aspx?id=6629.
- Populus interviewed over 2000 adults in Great Britain online between 19 and 21 September 2012. The poll for Friends of the Earth showed that 72% of people in the UK think the Energy Bill should give high priority to renewable energy (73% of those in the South East, 73% in North East, 72% in North West, 72% in Yorkshire & Humberside, 71% in East Midlands, 70% in East of England, 70% in South West, 69% in London and 68% in West Midlands). For more information call Friends of the Earth’s press office – 020 7566 1649.
- Government figures released in September showed that over three quarters of the public (77%) back renewable energy for providing our electricity, fuel and heat. For more information see http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/stats/6410-decc-public-att-track-surv-wave2-summary.pdf.
- Friends of the Earth’s Clean British Energy campaign, backed by Dragons’ Den’s Deborah Meaden, is urging the Government to use the Energy Bill to ensure more of our electricity comes from our wind, sun and water. This, and cutting energy waste, will cut climate changing emissions, create jobs and help to tackle rocketing fuel bills long term. For more information see www.cleanbritishenergy.co.uk.
- Manchester Friends of the Earth is an award-winning environmental campaign group, raising awareness and lobbying for policy changes at a local, regional, national and international level. The group consists entirely of volunteers, and its campaigns are funded by membership fees and individual donations. Up-to-date information is available on the group’s website: www.manchesterfoe.org.uk. Manchester Friends of the Earth is a Licensed Local Group of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Manchester Friends of the Earth has endorsed Manchester: A Certain Future, an action plan for the city of Manchester to cut its carbon emissions by at least 41% by 2020. For more information, visit www.manchesterclimate.com