Letter in Evening Standard on fossil fuel subsidies and floods

Media Coverage 17 Feb 2014 jane

by Kevin Smith, Platform

Unedited version of the letter here:

Ed Milliband is entirely right to critique David Cameron for breaking his promise to deliver “the greenest government ever.” Failing to act now on climate change, like the government’s cuts to flood defences, is a prime example of how spending cuts don’t equate to saving money. Eminent economists like Lord Nicholas Stern have shown that our failure to act now on climate change mean paying larger proportions of GDP in future to deal with the consequences of extreme weather events.Avoiding the worst effects of climate change in future relies on longer term thinking than we have seen from Cameron. We would be saving money by creating green jobs and deploying renewable energy technologies, creating potentially as many as 1.5 million new jobs in the process according to the Zero Carbon Britain report.

We are currently spending £12 billion a year on energy subsidies, the vast majority of which go to fossil fuels, despite the fact that Osborne pledged to phase out fossil fuel subsidies at the G20 in Mexico. Instead of cutting aid to some of the most vulnerable communities abroad to instead support flood victims, as suggested by the Daily Mail, we should be cutting our aid to the extremely profitable Big Six and oil and gas energy companies, while simultaneously making progress on our transition to a low carbon society.

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