Jeremy Corbyn slammed the government’s spending priorities as it emerged the Tories are spending just 0.01 per cent of GDP on fighting the climate crisis.
By comparison, it is spending more than two per cent of GDP on military every year, The Independent has reported.
According to chancellor Rishi Sunak’s March Budget, climate change mitigation policies were allocated only £145 million, whilst policies expected to increase carbon emissions were given £40 billion.
In a tweet, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The WWF [World Wildlife Fund] reports that the Tories are spending just 0.01 per cent of GDP on fighting the climate crisis.
“Yet at the same time, they are spending more and more money on nuclear weapons.
“They have the totally wrong priorities – it’s time to put people and the planet first.”
And WWF head of climate change Isabella O’Dowd told The Independent the Budget “doesn’t add up to the cleaner, greener future we all want to see.”
O’Dowd added: “To turn things around, ministers must close the gap between their climate commitments and their spending plans, by adopting a net-zero test for all government spending ahead of the UK-hosted COP26 climate summit in November.
“We won’t forget the government’s climate promises and, together with our supporters, we will hold government to account for delivering on them.”
The Treasury claimed the WWF’s analysis is misleading, but that it matches warnings from the government’s own climate change body, the CCC.
According to the CCC, the Tories’ promises to cut carbon emissions are not being kept as real action is not being taken – and they recommend around 1 per cent of GDP a year towards achieving net-zero on time.
Last week, Tory MP John Redwood suggested the UK cannot afford the costs of tackling the climate crisis at a national level.
He shifted focus towards the need for China and Germany to take action instead, and insisted “others will be reluctant to impose more costs and disruption on their economies” and said the UK “doesn’t want and afford” heat pumps.
But Keith Burge, director at the Institute of Economic Development, said today: “If you think net zero is expensive, wait until you see how much climate change costs”.
‘Code red for humanity’
Earlier this week, the United Nations announced “code red for humanity” upon releasing a report on the climate emergency.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said: “The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk.
“Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible .
“This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet.”