We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Michael Meacher. As one of the first politicians to wake up to the threat posed by climate change, he was prepared to fight for what he believed in. As honorary Vice President of the Campaign against Climate Change, he spoke out for urgent climate action in and outside Parliament - seen left speaking at a rally in support of workers fighting to keep the Vestas wind turbine factory open.
It took a while for all the implications of George Osborne's "Emergency" budget to sink in, perhaps a couple of hours until Twitter started buzzing. "We will remove the out-dated Climate Change Levy exemption for renewable electricity." So renewable energy generators, already hit by other government policies, will now have to pay out more in tax: £450 million lost to the Treasury in 2015/16, rising to £910 million in 2020/21. That’s £3.9 billion over the next six years.
As the name of the tax, the Climate Change Levy, implies, it was created to encourage clean energy generation, a carbon tax more or less, so extending it to renewables is bizarre. However, there is now no need to rename it. By hobbling renewable energy development it is now a levy to encourage climate change.
Share prices in renewable companies fell immediately (thanks to Friends of the Earth for the image)