Four campaigners scaled the Bank of England this morning, ahead of the Chancellor’s pre-budget report this afternoon, and are unfurling a banner reading ‘GREEN IS GOOD’.
The Greenpeace climbers are calling for Alistair Darling to kick-start the economy by investing in a new green industrial revolution.
Making such a “clever, clean and courageous” investment will, say Greenpeace, not only boost the UK’s flagging economy, but will also improve the nation’s energy security, create hundreds of thousands of green-collar jobs, make UK industry a leader in cutting-edge low carbon technologies and lead the way in tackling climate change.
To start this recession-busting green revolution Greenpeace is asking the Government to deliver in four key areas.
- Britain must meet our carbon dioxide reduction targets and our renewable energy targets here at home instead of paying others to do it for us. Delivering on these will ensure that Britain sees the benefits of investment in green technology – otherwise they will be swept up by European competitors and countries like China.
- A Green Investment Bank to finance innovative green industries and large-scale infrastructure should be set up. Unlocking our offshore wind potential should be a key investment for this bank. An energy ‘supergrid’ throughout the North Sea will connect many giant windfarms spread across hundreds of miles and allow us to profit from Britain’s greatest energy resource – the wind.
- Renewable technologies used in Britain should be made in Britain. The pioneers of the emerging tidal and wave industries are British. The Government must provide the right backing for these industries – otherwise we risk losing the fruits of such technologies to overseas competitors.
- Britain must tackle energy efficiency. With regulation and investment, every building in Britain can be insulated to make our homes warmer, greener and cheaper to run.
Greenpeace's executive director, John Sauven, said:
"The government, along with the private sector, must invest in a cleaner, more secure future for the UK – and the time to do that is right now.
"Kick-starting the economy with a green investment – which would be clever, clean and courageous – is backed by Barack Obama, the CBI, the UN, Deutsche Bank and other major corporations. Doing so wouldn’t just help the Government to escape the recession – it would also help us to finally escape our dirty and expensive twentieth century energy system.
"It's not just the UK economy and our energy security that will benefit from an investment in green energy. Hundreds of thousands of green-collar jobs will be created in the UK. We’ll become a world leader in cutting edge low carbon technologies. And we’ll lead the way in tackling climate change and securing the future of our planet."
Speaking recently about green technology, United States' President-elect Barack Obama said: "It is absolutely critical that we understand this is not just a challenge, it's an opportunity… It can be an engine that drives us into the future the same way the computer was the engine for economic growth over the last couple of decades."
In Germany, the renewable energy sector generates more electricity annually than all of the UK's nuclear power stations combined. It also employs 250,000 people and generates an annual revenue of around £150 billion.
In France, energy efficiency and renewable energy companies already employ more people than car manufacturers.
Globally, according to the UN, the renewable energy industry already employs more people than the fossil fuel sector.
Greenpeace press office: 020 7865 8255 or 07717 704577.