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Plea to Chancellor to safeguard green investment

Trade unions and green campaigners have called on Chancellor George Osborne to protect vital green measures including the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) in next week’s comprehensive spending review.

The Trades Unions Congress (TUC), the Aldersgate Group and Friends of the Earth (FOE) have all signed a letter asking Osborne to lead the UK out of recession by investing in a low carbon economy for the UK.

Key green measures flagged up in the letter  include:

  • A properly capitalised Green Investment Bank - at least £4-6 billion, so it can attract vital private sector money
  • The RHI and FIT to be kept intact - to avoid damaging investor confidence and help the UK meet its targets on producing more renewable energy and cutting carbon dioxide;
  • Investment in essential infrastructure to bring manufacturing industry to the UK
  • Continued funding for the Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust
  • Investment in education and skills to ensure the UK has the expertise to develop new green technologies and industries.

Commenting on the letter, FOE director of policy and campaigns Craig Bennett said: “The downturn gives the Government a chance to make a new start - leading the UK out of recession by building a prosperous low-carbon economy that is not dangerously dependent on coal and oil.

“Green investment is urgently needed to unlock the massive jobs potential of new technologies and industries like off-shore wind, and support energy efficiency schemes that will save businesses, local authorities and taxpayers billions of pounds a year.

“We also need a nationwide system of local carbon budgets to help every area do its bit to tackle climate change - this would create jobs, slash fuel bills and help stimulate our green economic recovery.”

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