Fashion icon and environmentalist Vivienne Westwood has launched Salt magazine’s #KeepItClean campaign. The campaign, led by Vivienne Westwood consists of a series of open letters and videos urging the UK Chancellor George Osborne to reinstate support for clean energy.
READ VIVIENNE WESTWOODS OPEN LETTER TO GEORGE OSBOURNE
Salt magazine was founded on an ideology of promoting sustainable solutions for a better world. Britain’s thriving solar energy industry was a shining example of a truly sustainable, cost-effective and innovative fix for the country’s growing energy needs. While Salt always endeavours to uphold positive solutions and inspire change agents within a constructive framework, sometimes the industry and the government needs a little tough love. For this reason, we’ve launched our #KeepItClean campaign to urge Mr. Osbourne to reinstate support for clean energy and consider the wide reaching consequences of cuts to the green industry.
The proposed 87 per cent reduction in government support to the Feed in Tariff (FiT), whilst maintaining subsidies to fossil fuels, has already sabotaged crowd investors and community projects.
The reduced UK subsidies from January 2016 mean homeowners will face increased costs to place solar panels on their roofs. Hundreds of contracts have been cancelled and thousands of jobs have already been lost.
Investor confidence is damaged and prospects for future renewable energy projects have been dented. Around 35,000 jobs are now at stake in Britain’s formerly thriving green economy.
Dame Vivienne Westwood
Dame Vivienne Westwood said: “I urge the government to rethink its clean energy policy with immediate effect. Thousands of jobs have already been lost in the solar industry, with many more cuts to come. This is a travesty and represents an ideological war against the UK’s formerly thriving green businesses. This government’s disregard for the environment has never been clearer.”
Westwood has penned an exclusive letter which appears in Salt magazine openly questioning the government on its disregard for climate change and green energy: “We have abused our world for so long that we take it for granted that there is no other way to behave. We like things as they are and we learnt to love lies,” she writes in a spellbinding essay.
The November issue of Salt magazine and www.wearesalt.org also feature open letters from green activist and author Jonathon Porritt; founder of SolarCentury and author, Jeremy Leggett; Trillion Fund founder Julia Groves; Ecotricity founder Dale Vince; and managing director at Southern Solar and former chairman of the Solar Trade Association, Howard Johns.
Jonathon Porritt writes in Salt this month: “I’m George Osborne; I do what I like; I hate anything to do with the Green Movement, and my crass planet-trashing, people-crushing ideology tells me this is the right thing to do.”
Julia Groves, founder of the Trillion Fund, writes: “In the last three months renewable electricity made up a quarter of the UK’s electricity mix. But over the summer, you announced that you are cancelling the green deal, selling the Green Investment Bank, dropping zero carbon homes, and pulling the feed in tariff. It is hard to interpret this as anything other than a rapid retreat from renewables.
“The Feed-in Tariff consultation alone has rocked investor confidence and wiped out thousands of jobs, including my team at Trillion Fund.”
Salt’s #KeepItClean campaign will run for three weeks in the run-up to the Paris Climate Conference. Salt and its backers aim to get Mr.Osborne to rethink his drastic clean energy cuts before the conference on November 30 and before it’s too late.
Salt editor-in-chief Alicia Buller said: “This hit to the clean energy industry has come at the wrong time and is in grave danger of sabotaging the UK’s fledgling green economy as investors look overseas.
“The government is undermining confidence in renewables and yet choosing to invest in fossil fuels and foreign nuclear projects. We are taking a stand.”
How can you help?
Why not join our celebrity columnists and post your own video or photo to Twitter with a card urging Mr Osborne to #KeepItClean?
Together we can make a difference.
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