Update: All four campaigners have now been arrested. You can see more photos from the day on Flickr.
Times are tough. We not only face an immediate global financial crisis but a long-term climate crisis. The urgency of the first is no excuse for neglecting the second.
Four of our campaigners have scaled the Bank of England this morning ahead of the Chancellor’s pre-budget report to highlight that the solutions to our financial crisis are also the solutions we need to tackle climate change.
The answer is a clean energy economy.
The hottest growth industry in the world just now is renewable energy. That’s where jobs of the future are already being created, and where much of the technological innovation is taking place that will usher in our next era of economic transformation.
Scientists agree. To address climate change, we need an energy revolution, a wholesale change in how we power our societies while there is still time for such measures to be effective.
First, Gordon Brown should offer large-scale investment in incentives for clean energy production and storage using 21st century technologies, such as solar and wind power and combined heat and power.
Secondly, the government needs to replace our worn-out electricity grid and should begin the planning and construction of an energy distribution system fit for the 21st century. That means good energy storage, allowing feed-in from microgeneration, super grid connection to mainland Europe, and ‘smart’ delivery features that provide consumers with sophisticated information and easy-to-use tools for conserving electricity, eliminating inefficiency and reducing their energy bills.
Third, the government needs to support low carbon transport. We need fuel efficient cars, plug in hybrid cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, high speed rail, buses, and more investment in communications technology such as video conferencing so there is less need to travel, especially for business.
Fourth, we need to make our homes, offices and appliances more energy efficient. The government needs to embark on a nationwide effort to retrofit commercial buildings and homes to make them more energy efficient, including insulation, double glazing, energy efficient lighting, energy efficient appliances, microgeneration.
Fifth, the Chancellor should establish a ‘Green Investment Bank’ providing attractive financing including seed capital, loan guarantees, loans, tax credits and bond underwriting to scale up Britain’s green industry and green infrastructure, providing huge export opportunities.
What we need is a political party with the resolve to put long-term investment ahead of short-term interests.
We believe this would meet our energy needs securely, build green industry and create green collar jobs, and help us lead the global transition to a new low-carbon economy.
We've got six months until the next budget, what do you think the government should do? Please leave a comment below, we'd like to hear what you think is needed to kickstart the economy and tackle climate change.