UK funding to tackle climate crisis 'must double', government warned

(The Guardian, 2 Sep 2019) Charities write to Sajid Javid requesting increase of spending from £17bn to £42bn over next three years.

Britain’s biggest environmental groups have warned the government that funding to tackle the climate emergency must be more than double next year to avoid an even greater cost from catastrophic ecological breakdown in the future.

Writing to the chancellor, Sajid Javid, as he prepares to announce on Wednesday his spending priorities for the year ahead, more than a dozen leading environment charities, including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth as well as other leading organisations such as Oxfam and Christian Aid, said urgent action was required to raise spending.

Spelling out their demands in a costed roadmap for meeting the climate emergency, the groups said that government spending needed to increase from roughly £17bn a year at present to at least £42bn over the next three years. Further increases would be required in the future should the government wish to meet its promise of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Failure to deliver the bold rise in expenditure, equivalent to about 2% of economic output each year and around 5% of total state spending, would mean passing on an unsustainable economy with a “planet-sized debt” caused by a climate breakdown, the groups said.

Although broadly welcoming the 2050 target, promised by Theresa May among the final acts of her premiership, the charities said the date needed to be brought forward by several years and that policy and funding arrangements were not yet in place.

In the letter to Javid, the organisations urged the chancellor to demonstrate that he understood the gravity of the challenge by holding a climate and nature emergency budget to unleash a clean industrial revolution in Britain.

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The Guardian, 2 Sep 2019: UK funding to tackle climate crisis 'must double', government warned