Was it when Chancellor George Osborne called us the environmental Taliban? When he announced he wanted to build 40 new gas-fired power stations and turn the UK into a “gas hub”? When he was revealed in our undercover investigation as trying to dismantle the Climate Change Act? When he rolled out the red carpet for fracking companies across England? Or when he vetoed a 2030 goal in the Energy Bill for carbon free electricity?
It’s difficult to pin point exactly when we knew we had a battle on our hands. And we don’t use the B word lightly. But it’s become increasingly clear that much of what we’ve fought for over the past decade is under attack. And the stakes could not be higher- for our climate, our economy and our countryside.
The Energy Bill currently before parliament is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to clean up our power sector and create low carbon jobs. Along with hundreds of business leaders, UK companies, investors and civil society groups, we want to see carbon-free electricity by 2030.
Osborne has fought (and so far managed) to keep the 2030 target out of the Energy Bill, but all is not lost. Two MPs from each end of the political spectrum - Conservative Tim Yeo and Labour's Barry Gardiner - have tabled a series of 'green jobs' amendments to put the target back into the bill. Yeo took a strong stand when he said, "I will not stand by and watch the wrong decisions being made on energy policy."
Neither will we. Osborne’s dash for gas would put our legally binding climate commitments at risk. It would mean gas plants and fracking sites all over England and investment in renewable energy side-lined. It would leave the UK perilously dependent on expensive, imported gas from places like Qatar. As Osborne’s own father-in-law admitted last year, this over-reliance on volatile regions for our energy is liable to leave us “up shit creek”.
Before the last election, David Cameron came to the London Greenpeace office, stood in our warehouse and waxed lyrical about how he’d champion green energy if elected. Now his chancellor is trying to dismantle one of the greatest legacy's of the UK’s climate movement.
Don’t let all your amazing work be undone. The climate - and Britain - needs you. Tell your MP to support clean electricity and green jobs now.