Greenpeace Response to the Spring Budget 2017

Publication date: 9th March 2017

Overall reaction:

John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, said:

“Hammond’s first Budget could have put the UK on course to lead the global race for clean technology, healthy air and a strong economy. To really ‘prepare Britain for a brighter future’ the Chancellor should have used this moment to gain an advantage by boldly backing offshore wind power, supporting solar and driving consumers towards cleaner cars.

But he failed even to address the pressing issue of air pollution or to mention renewables at all. This means the government is stalling Britain’s clean energy and transport revolution and propping up North Sea oil and gas instead. This is short sighted and has short-lived benefits.”

Electric Vehicles (EVs):

Paul Morozzo, Clean Air Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said:

“Investment in electric vehicle innovation will ensure our future as a global player in car manufacturing and secure jobs for the next generation. But by itself it’s not enough. We need to get ahead of the game. That means support for industry to move to electric vehicle manufacturing quickly, boosting charging infrastructure, and investing in vital smart grid upgrades, so the UK can be a global leader in the transport revolution.”


Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK Policy Director, said:

“Solar technology has huge potential for the UK, offering new jobs, investment, and clean, cheap energy. The Chancellor has failed to address the massive tax hike of business rates on commercial solar. The temporary reprieve of a £300m discretionary fund for local authorities is just a drop in the ocean. It just delays the inevitable for the 23,000 schools, hospitals and offices who installed solar to generate their own energy and reduce bills, and now have to pay much more than they bargained for. Crucially, this alone does not go far enough to prevent these damaging tax hikes from making future solar investment uneconomic – putting the brakes on a sector with major growth potential and leading to thousands more job losses. Globally, there has been record installation of solar panels to harness the sun’s energy, but the UK government risks going backwards. People trying to do the right thing, and generate their own renewable energy, are going to be hit by massive bills.”


North Sea oil and gas:

Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK Policy Director, said:

“It’s outrageous that Hammond’s Budget is looking to benefit the North Sea oil and gas industry to encourage them to pollute for longer, and taxpayers will have to pay to clean up the oil industry’s mess. Today could have been a turning point for the government’s strategy to invest in the north east. They should be moving away from dirty, old fossil fuels towards backing the thriving offshore wind and smart technology, which could deliver thousands of new skilled jobs. Instead of support for modern clean, renewable energy, the Chancellor is seeking to prop up the oil and gas industry of the past. Workers in Scotland and the East of England may be be bought off with promises of short term gain, but the oil industry is inevitably declining, and the government needs a long-term game plan that looks to support the industries of the future, not the past.”


Press contact: Alexandra Sedgwick 07773 043386