CIEH urges Chancellor to prioritise environmental protection and preventing fuel poverty in Autumn Statement

15 November 2022, Ciaran Donaghy

CIEH have urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP, to prioritise the prevention of fuel poverty this winter as well as renewing calls for the UK Government to introduce its legally binding environmental protection targets in the Autumn Statement.

The Chancellor is due to deliver his Autumn Statement on Thursday, in which he is expected to announce significant cuts in public spending. However, CIEH are calling for the Chancellor to ensure there is no backsliding on the Government’s commitment to introduce legally binding environmental protection targets, and to ensure that adequate measures are introduced to prevent fuel poverty this winter and beyond.

CIEH has long campaigned for the Government to increase the support for households facing fuel poverty this winter, as well as rolling out a targeted insulation programme before a national rollout scheme beyond April. It has also campaigned for the Government to introduce ambitious environmental protection and air quality targets.

CIEH’s campaigns have highlighted the importance of urgent action to help households struggling with energy bills this winter alongside the need for the UK to lead the way in the fight against climate change.

The Autumn Statement will set the tone for the direction this government will take in supporting households and tackling climate change.

Ross Matthewman, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said:

“The importance of this Autumn Statement cannot be overestimated. The Chancellor’s announcements this week will set the roadmap as to how the Government will approach some of the urgent issues facing our country today.

That is why we are calling on the Chancellor to prioritise new funding to ensure that households receive adequate support, not only in preventing millions from falling into fuel poverty this winter, but in also ensuring a nationwide insultation programme that will reduce energy use, reduce household bills and reduce emissions from housing.

We are also urging the Chancellor to restate the government’s commitment to introducing legally binding environmental protection targets following the missed 31st October deadline for doing so. The legal requirement for the introduction of these targets was laid out in the Environment Act and we would urge the government to introduce these as a matter of priority.”

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