Our Pray&Post campaign card 'Forwards not Backwards' calls on the government to cut the disproportionate support currently given to the arms trade, and instead give renewable energy the support it deserves.
Currently there is a government department, the Defence and Security Organisation (DSO), which gives more support to the arms trade than all other UK business and industry put together. SPEAK believes that this disproportionate level of support is both morally and economically unacceptable.
The government talk of needing arms investment and support to protect jobs, but cuts in support for renewables are already costing jobs in an industry that grew through the recession, and which could give us a secure future and global leadership, rather than supporting an industry that undermines peace and development whilst aiding human rights abuses.
The government is cutting support for renewables at a time when renewable energy is vitally needed to secure our energy supplies for the future and cut our greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst the arms trade continues to receive disproportionate support, the renewable energy sector has been under repeated attack from policy changes since the election: Scrapping subsidies for wind and solar power, zero-carbon homes targets, and the solar Feed In Tariff, and extending the Climate Change Levy for dirty energy plants to apply to renewables too, making them pay for pollution they are not producing!
The government claims we need to subsidise and support the arms trade to protect jobs; but the same amount of support would go much further in other industries, such as the renewable energy industry, and do more to support growing British businesses. Several UK renewable energy companies have collapsed since these recent policy changes have undermined them, and little concern has been shown by the government. With proper support, the industry could grow and become a clean, sustainable and safe basis for the economy and the country’s energy supply.
Our partner CAAT’s research* shows that a move towards offshore wind and marine energy could produce more jobs than the entire arms industry. These jobs would provide alternative employment for arms trade workers in similarly highly skilled sector. It has a similar breakdown across broad categories of skill levels and employs many of the same branches of engineering. These would be better jobs for the workers and for all of us: Jobs in an industry that is growing not declining, which create a safer, rather than a more dangerous world.
It’s time for the UK to go forwards towards a future based on new technology we can trade for a safer world, and clean, sustainable energy – not backwards to the age of outdated fossil fuels and sales of weapons to dangerous regimes. It’s time to move support from arms to renewables.
* arms-to-renewables.org.uk/read-more CAAT = Campaign Against the Arms Trade
- Meditate over Colossians 1:15-20 – Christ rules over all our leaders, and in Him is hope that all things in creation will be restored.
- Prayerfully consider the impact you could make – could you switch to a green energy company, or a bank with a better ethical investment policy, encourage your church to join the Eco Church scheme, or get others involved in climate action?
- Hold a prayer vigil outside a local arms company or renewable energy development
What you can do
If you do one thing, please sign and return the Pray&Post card to us so we can let the government know we want support for renewables, not weapons!
But if you’ve a little more time:
- We have an e-action and template letter to MPs here! – either click and send, or better still, get a bunch of friends together and have a letter writing evening, using our template letter as a basis, to maximise your impact.
- Request a few extra copies of the Pray&Post, and use them with your church or a group you’re involved in; explore the issue together, use the prayer and action points, and finish by giving time for everyone to sign the postcards. Then you can send them all back to SPEAK HQ together, saving you stamps! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request extras.
- Host a Handmade World climate crafting evening to make handmade gifts for your MP, and maybe art to raise awareness, banners to take on the next climate march, or just do some upcycling...