The former Friends of the Earth executive director was announced today (October 6) as the first chair of the pro-renewable energy group Action for Renewables.

Mr Juniper will join a host of prominent environmentalists, including former Friends of the Earth director Jonathon Porritt, naturalist Bill Oddie and Greenpeace chief executive John Sauven.

In his new role Mr Juniper will lead alliance of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), trade unions, grassroots activists and industry bodies to campaign for the expansion of renewable energy.

In his first statement as chair Mr Juniper said: “The case for renewable energy is clear.

“The new green industries which will achieve this will also generate tens of thousands of new jobs in some of the most deprived areas of the country.”

“To do this, we need to bring the public with us, for too long the media and the internet have been dominated by myths and hearsay about renewables.

“This campaign is about setting the record straight and encouraging people to stand up and support properly-sited renewable energy developments around the country.

“The silent majority in support of renewables needs to make its voice heard – now more than ever. Action for Renewables intends to give it the tools to achieve just that.”

RenewableUK’s chief executive, Maria McCaffery, said: “This comes at a crucial time for renewables.

“There are still some difficult challenges in the government’s localism agenda and reforms to the electricity market, so we are working closely with all the relevant government departments to establish the right political and economic framework for delivering both our national renewable energy targets and the employment and investment benefits for UK plc.

“We know from repeated surveys that the majority of the public support renewable energy.

“Historically, this support has been drowned out by a vociferous minority. Action for Renewables is more than a campaign – it’s a partnership between industry, NGOs, politicians and the public to deliver clean, green and secure energy supplies.

“I am delighted that Tony has joined us in this endeavour – his commitment will help us make a real difference.”

Luke Walsh

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