3 Dec 2011

Greens declare war on Osborne as he threatens to chop up wildlife

For 15 months, we have observed with growing concern this government's failure to live up to its promise to be the "greenest ever". Now, following the chancellor's autumn statement, we can say that the coalition is on a path to becoming the most environmentally destructive government to hold power in this country since the modern environmental movement was born.As George Osborne sat down, our political culture crossed a line and became a little more like that which dominates Washington DC. We know from experience – not least by observing events across the Atlantic - that when such a line is crossed it is extremely difficult to retrieve lost ground.
The chancellor has proposed:
• Tax breaks for the country's most polluting industries.
• A revision of the basic safeguards that protect our most precious wildlife sites from development.
• A major expansion of airport capacity in the south-east of England
• Support for a major expansion of the road network.
• Aggressive implementation of a new presumption in favour of development in the planning system.
Osborne has proclaimed that protecting the environment is against the public interest – something no senior politician in this country has done in recent history.
George Monbiot author; Jonathon Porritt, Tony Juniper former directors, Friends of the Earth; Joss Garman co-founder, Plane Stupid;Tamsin Omond co-ordinator, Save England's Forests campaign;Caroline Lucas MP Green party leader

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