3 March 2021
In response to the Chancellor’s Budget announcement today, Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said:
“We are deeply disappointed that, in the middle of a climate emergency, the Chancellor has failed to put climate at the heart of his Budget today. It’s no good talking about the climate the week before the Budget and the week afterwards and then sidelining it in the Budget itself. The economy is not somehow separate from the environment but entirely dependent on it.
“We welcome the launch of the first Green Bond, although would call for independent and stringent monitoring to avoid greenwashing. We also welcome action on electric vehicles, although this is no substitute for the modal shift in transport, moving people out of cars and onto fast, efficient, and accessible public transport, as well as supporting active travel.
“The change to the Bank of England mandate so that it favours lending to sustainable sectors does sound promising, but we need to see the small print to see just how successful this will be.
‘The freezing of fuel duty is another disappointment, but we would have gone much further than just returning to the annual escalator by imposing a high and rising carbon tax on all fossil fuels. A carbon tax is the fastest and most efficient way to make the biggest polluting companies pay for the carbon they emit, signalling to markets that we are serious about rapid progress towards net zero.
“The Chancellor had an opportunity in the year the UK hosts the UN climate talks to show global leadership. He has utterly failed to do that.”