16 Oct 2010

Coalition's dangerous green failings: sign petition

In a recent blog I have expressed very real concerns about the Coalition's failure on green issues - see here. Well before I get to an update on that the campaign group 38 degrees is trying to get as many folk as possible to email their MP. I have already done so and would urge others to do likewise. Neil has said he is behind renewables well here is his chance to show it.

Photo: view of Ruscombe

Here's what 38 degrees say: "In a few days, the government will announce its plans for cuts. Every day we’re hearing about new threats to cut funding to tackle climate change. That could mean thousands of job losses for people who insulate homes, put up solar panels, and build wind turbines. It would mean thousands more new green jobs in the UK would never happen. Wrangling over cuts will go right down to the wire. If enough of us email our MPs now, we might be able to save funding for tackling climate change. The government claimed it would be the “greenest government ever”. If they hear from MPs that thousands of voters are worried about green jobs, they’ll realise cuts to climate funding could ruin their image."

Please take two minutes to e-mail your MP and tell them you don’t want climate change funds to be cut: www.38degrees.org.uk/protect-green-jobs/

In Kirklees this coming week the Lib Dems submitted a motion to Council congratulating the Coalition Government for their positive commitment to tackling climate change!! It is an extraordinary move and no wonder that Greens there are submitting an amendment that ‘questions the Coalition Government’s commitment to tackling climate change'. They then go onto list why:-

* the breaking of a promise by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats prior to the election to include early adopters of solar panels such as Kirklees in the Feed In Tariff
* the abolition of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Spatial Strategy which would have provided strong policies to encourage microgeneration in new buildings.
* the breaking of a commitment by the Liberal Democrats not to support new nuclear power stations the cost of which will now be borne by the public.
* the end of a commitment to insulate all lofts and cavity walls and lofts where technically possible to 2020.
* the abolition of the Sustainable Development Commission which actually saved the Government money.
* Cuts of £12.6m from The Carbon Trust's grant for low carbon technology and business support funding from DECC
* Cuts of £4.7m by cancelling final rounds of Bio-Energy Capital Grants Scheme and Bio-Energy Infrastructure Scheme
* Cuts of £3m by reducing the scope of the Offshore Wind Capital Grants Scheme
* Cuts of £3m from closing the Low Carbon Buildings Programme early
* £2.9m cuts by reducing the scope of the government's Low Carbon Technology Programme
* £1m cut to funding for development of deep geothermal energy generation
* £700,000 cut by the closing of renewable technology trials early
* The damage caused to the solar thermal, biomass and heat pump industry by the long period of speculation over the future of the Renewable Heat Incentive
* The damage caused to the solar PV and small wind industry by long speculation over the future of the Feed In Tariff

This Council has the following concerns about the Coalition Government’s ‘Green Deal’

* An over emphasis on supermarkets as the deliverer of the Green Deal when clearly Council schemes such as the free insulation provided by Kirklees Council demonstrably deliver high numbers of measures while schemes lead by supermarkets have performed poorly.
* The reported omission of microgeneration from the Green Deal finance package
* A loan mechanism will not be the most cost effective way of funding low cost measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation.

This Council calls on the Coalition Government to ensure the Green Deal

* makes Councils a key partner and/or deliverer of the programme.
* enables area based approaches for the delivery of insulation and microgeneration measures
* has a cost effective way of delivering low cost measures such as insulation measures

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