Reaction to today's Autumn Budget

Commitments to HS2 and Sizewell C undermine Government promises on climate - The Wildlife Trusts

Vegetated shingle at Sizewell beach,  Suffolk Wildlife Trust, by Steve Aylward
Vegetated shingle at Sizewell beach, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, by Steve Aylward

Absence of nature’s recovery in today’s Autumn Statement puts future prosperity at risk

Today the Government published its Autumn Statement. While The Wildlife Trusts are pleased that the Government remains fully committed to the UK’s climate obligations, including a 68% reduction in our own emissions, it is still not on track to meet this target and its actions in other areas undermine their promise.

The chancellor has failed to listen to experts warning that our unsustainable engagement with nature is putting future prosperity at risk. Of particular concern, are the HS2 and Sizewell C major infrastructure projects.

Elliot Chapman-Jones, head of public affairs at The Wildlife Trusts, says: “Despite the green rhetoric and promise of meeting distant climate targets, the Chancellor passed the buck on dealing with the climate and nature crises today. New funding for energy efficiency won’t be made available until 2025, which does nothing for struggling households this winter. Instead, the Chancellor used the budget to launch a tax raid on renewables and electric vehicles. Even more worryingly, the Chancellor failed to mention the urgent need to get nature into recovery. Our economic prosperity is entirely dependent on a healthy natural environment. A Treasury review commissioned just last year found that our unsustainable relationship with nature is endangering the prosperity of current and future generations. Despite being one of the most nature depleted countries on the planet, the Chancellor has decided to instead continue with the extremely damaging HS2 project, the building of Sizewell C, and a greater reliance on offshore wind, over other renewables, at the expense of the marine environment.”

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Posted On: 17/11/2022

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