The chancellor, George Osbourne is under huge pressure to protect the Government’s green initiatives to enable a low-carbon economy, still to emerge. Businesses, unions and NGOs sent a letter to Osbourne voicing concerns earlier this month.
The content of the letter is said to include a green investment bank (with up to £6bn of capital behind it), the Renewable Heat Incentive, essential infrastructure such as improving off shore wind ports (£60m), and funding to various trusts (Carbon and Energy Saving). And, investment in education – of the green variety, and skills development.
Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth’s director of policy and campaigns, said, “Green investment is urgently needed to unlock the massive jobs potential of new technologies and industries such as offshore wind, and support energy efficiency schemes that will save businesses, local authorities and taxpayers billions of pounds a year.”
Tim Yeo, Conservative chairman of Parliament’s cross party energy and climate change committee, is pro low-carbon investment. In an interview with the Guardian he added to the pressure. “In future, climate change could jeopardise our food security, cause unprecedented mass migration and conceivably even spark wars. It would be folly, and something of a false economy, to cut investment on green infrastructure now.”
The Department of Energy and Climate Change could be left stunted if investments are cut, and reports suggest the Treasury are not playing ball. No one is leaking the results. October 20th is D-day for all things green.