Autumn Statement must deliver on Sunak’s climate pledge 

Press release
Green energy and insulation would help tackle cost-of-living crisis
  Published:  15 Nov 2022    |      2 minute read

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Thursday (17 November) must reinforce the Prime Minister’s climate summit pledge last week to make the UK “a clean energy superpower” and cut UK carbon emissions by 68% by 2030, says Friends of the Earth.

The environmental campaign group is challenging Chancellor Jeremey Hunt to show that, under Rishi Sunak’s leadership, the UK government will genuinely show international leadership on facing down the climate crisis.

This should include an end to new fossil fuel developments, far more support for energy efficiency and renewables, and more funding to help vulnerable nations adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis.

Substantially boosting green energy and home insulation would also reduce our reliance on costly fossil fuels and help tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, Mike Childs, said:

“Rishi Sunak promised to put the UK at the forefront of international efforts to combat the climate emergency at COP27 last week. Now his Chancellor must deliver.

“The Autumn Statement must set out ambitious plans for a nationwide, street-by-street insulation programme – with a bigger, bolder windfall tax on the enormous profits posted by fossil fuel firms to help pay for it.

“Millions of low-income homes across the UK don’t even have basic loft or cavity wall insulation. Fixing these heat-leaking homes would help keep people warm, cut energy bills, reduce carbon emissions, and boost energy security.

“Jeremy Hunt should also scrap new North Sea gas and oil licences and lift the planning rules that restrict the development of onshore wind – one of the cheapest, quickest and most popular ways to generate electricity.”

Friends of the Earth is urging the Chancellor to:

• Announce a bigger and bolder windfall tax on the huge excess profits posted by gas and oil companies. This should include closing the loophole that allows them to avoid the bulk of the tax if they invest in more planet-heating gas and oil developments.

• Commit to an urgent nationwide, street-by-street home insulation programme, focussing on those most in need first, and part funded by a bigger windfall tax.

• Scrap the planning rules hindering the development of onshore wind to allow this form of energy to play its part in delivering a cost-effective and clean energy system. It produces cheap energy, is quick to build and is extremely popular with the public.

• Drop the Truss government’s ‘mini-budget’ proposals to weaken nature protections and remove democratic input into planning decisions, including Investment Zones.

• Save billions by pulling the plug on investment into new road schemes and reallocating the funds to public transport and cycling.

• Increase the amount of financial support for countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis to help them tackle climate change and adapt to its impacts and transition to greener economies.