WDM analyses green and Brown shoots in UK budget

By agency reporter
22 Apr 2009

Chancellor Alistair Darling's budget reveals the UK government's confused and contradictory green credentials, according to the World Development Movement (WDM) which campaigns for global justice and action on the way climate change is hitting the world's poor.

Julian Oram, head of policy at the WDM, said today: "The government is allocating £525 million for offshore wind but is providing tax cuts to big business to extract 2 billion barrels of oil and gas. Tackling climate change requires keeping fossil fuels in the ground, not extracting every drop we can. This reveals the [confused] nature of the government's green credentials.

"Darling has announced money for two to four demonstration projects in coal power carbon capture and storage. Relying on this technology is a big gamble. By the time we know if it works, millions of pounds will have been squandered and it may be too late to prevent dangerous climate change.

"These demonstration projects cannot be tagged-on to dirty coal power stations where most of the emissions will continue to warm the world for generations to come. And carbon capture and storage will be pointless if it is used to extract more oil from the North Sea."

"A credible green budget required the Chancellor to commit at least two per cent of national GDP to invest in renewable energy generation, infrastructure, warm homes, construction and transport projects which will create green jobs. Sadly we saw nothing like this level of commitment."

"Brown is certainly serious about talking about a Green New Deal, but this is not what we have heard today. The Chancellor's promised 'green jobs revolution' is unlikely to come about without far greater support for transition to a low carbon economy."

WDM - http://www.wdm.org.uk/

Follow budget responses from church, development and green sources on Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/Budget_2009

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