P7267591 Treasury GasSubsidies
"Stop Osborne Killing the Climate Act" fuel-subsidy cuts protest at Treasury - London, 26.07.2012
Activists from Campaign Against Climate Change protested outside the Treasury this afternoon in response to a letter leaked to the Financial Times this week which reveals that "“George Osborne has offered to drop his demands for tougher cuts to onshore wind subsidies if the Liberal Democrats back down over “inflexible” targets for Britain’s shift away from fossil fuels” – in other words if they agree to effectively ignore the targets enshrined in the Climate Act, thereby rendering it effectively dead.
The Commons energy committee has recommended that the forthcoming Energy Bill set a target for largely decarbonising the electricity supply by 2030. The Committee on Climate Change has said that this is effectively the only way that the UK can fulfil its statutory carbon reduction commitments. Osborne however has been pushing for unabated gas and therefore the effective abandonment of meaningful climate targets.
Osborne has been allying himself with the Tory right against wind farms and using this to pressurise the Lib Dems into accepting a climb-down from the projected de-carbonisation of electricity by 2030. Ed Davey the Lib-Dem Energy Secretary has already accepted a 10% cut in the subsidies for wind energy but backbench Tories are pushing for 25% cuts to the subsidies for onshore wind. Previous cuts to renewables like wind energy and solar panels have already done a great deal of damage to the industries in the UK, though the gas, oil and coal industries - despite making record-breaking billions in shareholder profit every year - still share around £3.5 billion in State subsidies annually.
George Osborne and the climate-change denying Tory hard-right are effectively pushing for a second 'dash for gas' in place of a determined attempt to move to renewable energy – and in the process they are destroying investor confidence in what was a booming sector. Even Tim Yeo – senior Tory and former minister – has accused Osborne of wrecking the government’s green energy plans to placate backbench Conservatives.
All photos © 2012 Pete Riches
Do not reproduce, alter, re-transmit or reblog my images without my written permission.
Hi-Res, un-watermarked versions of these files are available on application
Standard NUJ rates apply.