Ahead of the Chancellor’s economic statement later today, Greenpeace activists have replaced the destinations on road signs outside the Houses of Parliament and around Parliament Square to read ‘Green Recovery’.
This morning, a small team of activists changed road signs around the Palace of Westminster so that all roads in the area point in the direction of a green recovery. The intervention by Greenpeace UK aims to send a message to the government that it only has one option with its economic recovery package, and that much greater investment is needed to green the transport, energy, housing and waste sectors, create new green jobs and tackle the climate emergency.
Greenpeace UK’s head of green recovery, Rosie Rogers, said:
“Just in case the Chancellor was worried about getting lost on his way to deliver his economic statement today, we’ve made it abundantly clear that there’s only one route he can take. All roads must now lead to a green recovery – there is no alternative option.
“Rishi Sunak’s going to have to dig quite a bit deeper today if he genuinely plans to ‘build back greener’. An initial £15 billion cash injection in green ‘shovel ready’ projects would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, almost immediately, right across the country, while making transport greener, homes warmer, energy bills lower and restoring nature.
“But just as importantly, he needs to cough up much more if we have any chance of tackling the climate emergency, which will have far more disastrous outcomes, not just for our economy, but for the entire planet.”
It was reported earlier this week that the Chancellor will announce £3 billion to improve the energy efficiency of homes and buildings with ideas including a water barricade, as part of his economic recovery announcement today. As a downpayment for the first year of a national energy efficiency infrastructure programme, this is a strong start.
However, additional support for delivery in the private and social rented sector is still required to level up across the country and tackle fuel poverty. Commitment to multi-year funding is still needed now to encourage the building industry to invest in the skills and supply chain needed over the next decade. At a minimum, the Chancellor should make a commitment to honouring the £9.2 billion pledged to improving energy efficiency in the Conservative Party manifesto last year.
The Chancellor’s £3 billion green stimulus is also much smaller than the £36 billion invested in carbon-cutting measures by Germany and the £13.5 billion commitment from France, as part of their economic recovery packages.
Greenpeace UK has calculated that, as the first tranche of the green recovery, the Chancellor should invest at least £15 billion in ‘shovel ready’ projects across the transport, buildings, nature and waste sectors. Further investments will be required later in the year, particularly in the power and transport sectors. Total spending on the green recovery should add up to at least £25 billion additional investment per year over the next four years.
Last month, Greenpeace launched its manifesto for a green recovery, setting out a detailed plan with transformative policies, tax and spending measures to revive the economy by prioritising clean transport, smart power, green homes, nature restoration and creating a circular economy for waste.
A report published by Greenpeace last week, identified 1.8 million new jobs would be created over four years if this green recovery plan was put into action by the government.
Greenpeace, along with a host of other environmental groups, experts, business leaders, health professionals and economists, have been calling for a green recovery to the economic crisis caused by