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Budget Set to Ignore Global Clean Energy Revolution

English’s Budget Set to Ignore Global Clean Energy Revolution

Greenpeace New Zealand is urging the Government here to follow the UK Government’s lead in stimulating green growth, ahead of Thursday’s budget.

If Bill English fails to include such measures, he will have missed yet another opportunity to capitalise on green growth opportunities, says Greenpeace New Zealand.

Around the world, more money is now being invested in clean energy generation (1), than that generated by fossil fuels, with over a trillion US dollars having been spent since 2004 (2).

“Bill English’s comments so far have indicated that he has failed to embed the green economy into his economic plans, in favour of deep sea oil, coal mining, and road building,” says Nathan Argent, Greenpeace New Zealand’s Chief Policy Advisor.

“This appears to be the Government’s only economic strategy - to ignore the value of our clean green reputation, and instead open this country up to those companies who will simply dig, drill and run,” says Argent.

“While the National Government has spent millions on seismic surveys intended to draw oil companies to New Zealand, there has been barely any money spent on developing the export potential of the cleantech sector.

“Such is the Government’s obsession with coal and oil, you can be reasonably sure that won’t change after Thursday.

“The Government talks about the need to be frugal. But in spite of – or in fact, because of – the economy being so tight in the UK, David Cameron’s Government is funding a green investment bank, as a means of kick-starting the economy there,” Argent says.

This week, the UK Government’s Environment Audit Committee concluded that: “There would be environmental, energy security and economic benefits from making a transition to a green economy. Putting the environment at the centre of the economy would help achieve sustainable use of natural resources. There are clear benefits of acting now, with the costs of inaction far greater if we wait. Expenditure involved in making the transition to a green economy would be an investment, not simply a cost (3).”

Argent says: “If our Government was to follow David Cameron’s lead, we could reduce our exposure to volatile energy prices; revitalise our manufacturing based in low carbon sectors; modernise our infrastructure; reduce domestic and commercial utility bills, and create green-collar jobs,” Argent says.

“Most importantly, we’d be building a safer, more sustainable and smarter future for New Zealand.”

ENDS

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