Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne has blocked out the sun in Manchester, after campaign group 10:10 launched the next stage of its ‘Keep FiTs’ campaign.
The Conservative Party conference continues today but overnight 10:10 arranged for images to be beamed onto buildings in its host city of Manchester, showing Osborne’s face blocking out the sun alongside messages imploring him to rethink the cuts.
Energy secretary Amber Rudd took to the stage yesterday to discuss Conservative energy policy and said the UK “must be tough on subsidies” and reiterated her stance that there was no “magical money tree” for the renewables sector.
The campaign has been designed to raise public awareness of the proposed 87% cuts to the small-scale feed-in tariff. Previous efforts have included using ‘clean graffiti’ to paint a solar farm on the steps of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s headquarters, while yesterday the group joined a protest outside DECC’s FiT workshop, bringing a papier-mâché sun made by schoolchildren whose school has benefitted from a solar rooftop installation.
Amy Cameron, campaign manager at 10:10, said that while the projections were “a bit of fun” the feed-in tariff cuts remained a “hugely serious issue”.
“George Osborne seems determined to put the brakes on clean energy in the UK. With 27,000 jobs, countless community projects and our place in the global solar technology race at stake, it's not surprising so many influential figures are questioning his decisions.
“And it's not just the Boris Johnson, Panasonic, the NFU and Al Gore. Through our portal, we've heard from hundreds and hundreds of people all over the UK, calling on the government to Keep Fits. It’s crucial Mr Osborne listens before it's too late and continues to build British solar, not break it,” Cameron said.
Friends of the Earth has arranged for a protest to take place in Manchester for tomorrow, the closing day of the Conservative conference. Further details on the event can be found here.