The Green Party of England and Wales has warned the UK government that a net-zero strategy that gives fossil fuels a boost would be a ‘serious betrayal’ of its citizens and future generations, amid reports that its ‘green day’ expected this week could include more support for oil and gas.
As the government prepares to announce its revamped net zero strategy on Thursday, the Greens have urged Grant Shapps, secretary of state for energy security and net zero, to choose the policies that will bring the most benefits to households across the UK as well as to the environment.
“If what we fear is correct, it will be a grave betrayal of households across the country who want clean, cheap energy that doesn’t cost the earth, as well as future generations who will wonder why more hasn’t been done to tackle the climate crisis when we had the chance,” he added.
To this end, the Greens have offered a number of recommendations to the UK government.
Among their proposals, they ask the government to:
- Introduce a carbon tax targeting the biggest polluters to fund a mass insulation program and a renewable energy revolution to reduce household energy bills and emissions
- Invest £25 billion a year for ten years to carry out the deep renovation of ten million homes and improve the insulation in every home that needs it.
- Invest £12 billion a year for ten years in renewable energy deployment, including: – Paving the way for 70% of the UK’s electricity to come from wind power by lifting the de facto onshore ban and introducing new supports and incentives to accelerate the development of wind power.
- Introducing new support for solar, geothermal, tidal, hydro and other renewables to supply much of the rest
- Make solar panels mandatory on the roofs of all new adapted houses
- A national program to replace polluting boilers with renewable heat from heat pumps
- A commitment not to provide any new investment or allow the development of new fossil fuels.
The co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales however reiterated that any government assertion that burning more and more fossil fuels from the North Sea will help the UK meet its international obligations to become net zero by 2050 has no connection with reality.
As proof, Ramsay pointed to the latest IPCC report, released last week, which paints a bleak picture of the future if action to tackle the climate crisis is not taken immediately.
“The UK government, along with governments around the world, have an ever-shrinking window of opportunity to secure a sustainable future for all and limit the rise in global temperature,” he urged.