Green group slams Treasury over meetings record

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has put the Treasury's failure to meet with green campaigners down to a "lack of imagination" and not "caution."

This comes after it was revealed that Ministers at the treasury have held meetings with energy-intensive company representatives seven times more than with representatives of the green energy sector since the coalition was formed.

WWF UK head of public affairs, Margret Ounsley told edie: “These stats do not come as any surprise at all. To be frank, no government shows much propensity for their Treasury ministers to meet outside of big business interests, but the Coalition has proved to be more difficult than most.

“As both the CBI and the chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee have said, the Treasury is now becoming a block to economic growth.”

Analysis of the figures also reveals that the Chancellor, George Osborne had not met a single green sector representative during his tenure but had taken part in eight meetings with oil companies and motoring lobbyists.

The Chancellor has recently been criticised for attempting to cut subsidies for renewable energy further than outlined in last autumn’s proposals. However it was confirmed today that the planned level of subsidy cuts would stand.

The news that Treasury Ministers have held 17 meetings with green campaigners compared with 119 with energy-intensive companies, come just days after the government’s draft energy bill was attacked by the Climate Change Committee with a discernible finger aimed at the Treasury.

Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, said: “The Government is in danger of botching its plans to boost clean energy, because the Treasury is refusing to back new contracts to deliver investment in nuclear, wind, wave and carbon capture and storage.”

Conor McGlone

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