Banks and green firms want fossil fuel subsidy check

A group of businesses including a bank, an investment fund and several green energy suppliers have written to the Treasury to demanding an official check up on the subsidies given […]

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By Vicky Ellis

A group of businesses including a bank, an investment fund and several green energy suppliers have written to the Treasury to demanding an official check up on the subsidies given to the energy sector “as a matter of priority”.

The group wants to highlight what is sees as favouritism towards fossil fuels compared to renewable sources.

As well as Triodos Bank, which finances sustainable projects across Europe, the letter was signed by WHEB Investment which handles £130million worth of assets, renewable energy suppliers Good Energy and Ecotricity, plus solar panel provider Solarcentury among others.

Signatories of the letter, include Triodos Bank’s Head of Corporate Development, James Vaccaro who has met with George Osborne about the issue several times, Juliet Davenport of Good Energy and Dale Vince the founder of Ecotricity.

They wrote: “Whilst the energy sector is run by private enterprise, in practice it is subsidised by the government via, among other things, the tax system, limiting liabilities, trade measures, and historic subsidies in building infrastructure.

“To make clear decisions, we need a clear picture. We need to raise the level of debate with the benefit of reliable, independent information about subsidies in the energy sector. In short, we need a report, verified by the National Audit Office, describing the subsidies in the energy sector. We call for this report to be commissioned as a matter of priority.”

They may well be disappointed in the short term as an energy department spokesperson told ELN there are no plans for such a report.