Environmental campaigners held a banner behind Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd while addressing a jobs fair today (Friday, February 26).
Ms Rudd was speaking at the Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair at Sussex Coast College Hastings which she helped organise.
The Combe Haven Defenders’ banner read: ‘Amber Rudd’s solar cuts. Destroying 18,700 jobs, destroying the planet #climatejustice.’
There was also an anti-fracking banner held across the college stairwell saying: ‘Frack off Amber!’
Ms Rudd tweeted that it was a ‘great morning’ at the jobs fair and encouraged people to visit as it is open until 3pm.
The campaigners demonstrated to highlight the job losses and climate change impacts of the cuts the energy and climate change secretary has made to solar energy subsidies.
Ms Rudd’s department’s impact assessment shows the cuts could lead to the loss of up to 18,700 jobs in the solar industry, as well as increasing carbon emissions as solar energy is replaced with gas.
The group’s spokesman Andrea Needham said: “We welcome anything that helps local people get jobs, but it is deeply ironic that Amber Rudd is organising a jobs fair at the same time as making huge cuts in solar subsidies which her own department says could lead to the loss of up to 18,700 jobs, as well as vastly increasing carbon emissions as solar is replaced with fossil fuels.
“The cuts will save the average household around two pence per day.
“Amber Rudd defends her cuts by saying that subsidy should be temporary, not part of a permanent business model, but that only applies to green energy: the UK government provides permanent subsidies to the fossil fuel industry of £26bn a year.
“We’re calling on Amber Rudd to start taking climate change seriously and to immediately reinstate the funding for solar energy.”
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