The following letter from Jean and Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East of England, was published today in the Guardian:
Re: ‘Osborne wrecking green plans to placate MPs – senior Tory’
Tim Yeo’s assertion that the Treasury has ‘never been signed up to the green agenda’ has, sadly, been evident for quite some time and did not start with this Government.
Under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, the UK is legally required to source 15 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, but Coalition Ministers have shown scant interest in rising to the challenge. To date, only three per cent of the UK’s energy comes from renewables compared with the European average of 12 per cent, yet instead of taking the positive steps needed to boost, encourage and support burgeoning green technologies, the Government has presided over the gutting of subsidies for solar and wind energy whilst simultaneously subsidising the dirty fossil fuel industry to the tune of £3.6 billion in 2010.
This shows a remarkable lack of vision. The UK is fortunate to have a huge, largely untapped wealth of renewable energy sources; enough to provide secure and home grown energy for the future; power our economy through the creation of hundreds of thousands of green jobs; tackle climate change and address fuel poverty.
Perhaps Mr Osborne needs reminding that as Chancellor of the Exchequer it is his responsibility to take the public spending decisions which benefit the entire nation for generations to come, rather than succumb to the whims of this motley crew of short-sighted backbenchers who seem intent on keeping clean, green and affordable energy out of our homes.
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East of England