Environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth has said that George Osborne is ignoring the vast potential of the UK’s wind, wave and solar resources, by instead pushing investment in “dirty” energy such as shale gas and North Sea oil.
It says that the UK should plan to invest in low-carbon infrastructure and renewable energy, rather than financing new oil drilling activities and gas power stations in the future.
The group went on to say that the current strategy is not only threatening future prosperity for the UK, but it is also ignoring a major trend in the energy sector, which is moving in a more sustainable direction. It adds that the chancellor has “isolated himself from major energy investors” by failing to include a decarbonisation target in the energy bill.
“George Osborne may not care about saving the planet, but he can’t continue to ignore the calls of major businesses and energy investors for robust support for clean energy and infrastructure”, said economics campaigner David Powell.
The group claims that there are two points that are crucial and should be realised immediately.
On one hand, the government should intervene in the energy sector, switching to clean energy and improving domestic and commercial energy efficiency.
On the other, it should stop giving tax reliefs to the fossil fuels industry, as well as proposing a moratorium on shale gas.
“The UK sits on an economic goldmine – hundreds of thousands of jobs could be created across the country if we harness the clean energy revolution and invest in helping every home to slash waste”, Powell added.
“With our economy at a critical crossroads, the chancellor risks going down in history as the man whose fossil fuelled obsession drove the UK into an economic and environmental dead end.”