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Autumn Statement – Friends of the Earth reaction

news release

Commenting on today’s Autumn Statement, Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, Mike Childs, said: 

“Bold action to simultaneously tackle the cost-of-living and climate crises should have been at the heart of the Autumn Statement, but the Chancellor’s announcement falls woefully short. 

Insulation

“A nationwide energy efficiency drive is essential, but the Chancellor’s proposals are far too little and far too late. Kicking the can down the road on home insulation for another two years, means millions of people will continue to suffer cold homes and sky-high energy bills. 

“The government should have listened to its own climate advisors, the Climate Change Committee, who only last week called for an urgent and rapid roll out of loft and cavity wall insulation.

“A £5 billion a year street-by-street, home insulation programme, focussing on those most in need first, would reduce the nation’s use of expensive gas, slash energy bills, create jobs and cut carbon emissions. 

“It’s a scandal that even with emergency financial support millions of people are still being left to shiver in heat-leaking homes due to soaring energy bills. With the price cap set to rise from next April, urgent action is needed to protect those most at risk.” 

Windfall tax

“While an increase in the windfall tax is welcome, it is undermined by the Chancellor’s failure to close the loophole that allows fossil fuel firms to avoid paying most of it if they invest in more gas and oil. We won’t build a clean, green and prosperous future while we continue to subsidise our reliance on fossil fuels.”  

Renewable energy

“The Chancellor clearly wasn’t listening when the Prime Minister promised to make the UK a clean energy superpower at the climate summit last week. If he had, he would surely have signalled an end to the planning barriers that hamper the development of onshore wind in England. It’s cheaper than gas, popular and there’s plenty of it. Instead, his tax on renewable energy companies risks reducing investment into much needed clean energy.”

Electric vehicles

“Electric vehicles have a big part to play in creating a clean transport system, and we need more government measures and better infrastructure to encourage people to choose them. Ending their road tax exemption will do little to persuade people to choose greener cars.”

ENDS

For more information and interview requests contact the Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649 or email media@foe.co.uk 

Notes to editors

About Friends of the Earth: Friends of the Earth is an international community dedicated to the protection of the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We bring together more than two million people in 75 countries, combining people power all over the world to transform local actions into global impact. For more information visit: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/ follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page. Save paper and send an e-card today, available at http://foe.uk/ecogifting   

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