Green agenda for 2009 Budget
Pressure is mounting on Alistair Darling to make the environment central to his budget announcement next week.
However, George Osborne, the Conservative shadow chancellor, has called for green issues to take centre stage.
He's outlined a series of measures including £6,500 energy efficient entitlement for every home in Britain, funding at least three carbon capture and storage pilots and a national recharging network for electric cars.
Mr Osbourne also highlighted plans for beginning work on a new high-speed rail network, the creation of an 'electricity internet' and, amongst several other schemes introducing a network of marine energy parks.
He said: "The Budget is not just an opportunity to help people now, it's also a chance to chart a new course for the future."
The plans would, according to Mr Osbourne, unleash £30 billion of new private sector investment, without adding a penny to the national debt. It would lay the path to a greener future. And it would help build a future economy where we save and invest for tomorrow instead of borrow and spend for today."
John Sauven, Greenpeace's executive director, backed the shadow chancellors calls, he said: "The budget must start delivering a low carbon economy to create jobs and reduce climate change emissions.
"The two must go hand-in-hand. If this budget contains mechanisms that will make this happen, rather than more vague promises, it could be the start of a 'green revolution'."
A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) published earlier this week said without a rapid expansion of offshore wind capacity the UK will struggle to achieve its legally-binding target of 15% of energy from renewable sources by 2020.
It also said without greater government support, the opportunity to create up to 70,000 long-term jobs in parts of the country where they are needed, and its associated export potential, would also be lost.
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