Reacting to the Chancellor’s Budget statement today [Wednesday 21 March 2012], Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigner Joe Peacock said:

“This Budget offers no hope of building a sustainable economy for the future, but locks us into reliance on spiralling fossil fuel prices that will exacerbate the problems with fuel and transport poverty we already have.

“It sticks two fingers up at David Cameron’s promise to build a clean future – and gives a massive thumbs down to new jobs and cutting our reliance on expensive gas and oil.

“Instead of putting more money into supporting projects like Birmingham Energy Savers to deal with fuel poverty and give people control over generating their own energy, the chancellor has chosen to subidise environmentally damaging oil and gas exploration, focus on building more roads and expanding airports.

 “The West Midlands wants to play a leading role in the transition to a low carbon economy, but business leaders are sick of the Chancellor’s Jekyll and Hyde routine on developing this – and other countries are leaving us trailing.”

Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said:

“The few green crumbs of comfort offered by Mr Osborne will be completely swept away by a package of policies that make this a Black Wednesday for the environment.”



Notes for editors

1) Friends of the Earth was urging the chancellor to use his Budget to show he is serious about building a low-carbon economy by:

* Using the money from carbon taxes to help millions of people to insulate their homes;

* Boosting the strength of the Green Investment Bank so that it can help fund the building of a low-carbon future;

* Pledging financial support to the solar subsidy scheme so that Government targets for a huge increase on solar power by the end of the decade can be achieved;

* Reform the landfill tax to encourage recycling and not wasteful incineration;

* Support for ‘green quantitative easing’ to ensure billions of pounds are invested in developing clean energy and cutting energy waste.

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2) Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to tackle rising petrol prices by developing a strategy to wean our transport system off oil.

3) Birmingham Friends of the Earth is an environmental campaigning group who have been running campaigns on issues of local and national importance for over 35 years. There is further information available on our website