It’s confusing times for a climate change activist at the moment. What the government gives with one hand, it takes away with the other. Last week saw desperate pleas to save the jobs at the UK’s only significant wind turbine maker, to no avail. Having declined to intervene at Vestas, who should the government step in to prop up this week but the aviation industry.
Today Business Secretary Peter Mandelson announced a government loan of £340 million to Airbus, to protect British jobs. Is a job in aerospace better than a job in renewable energy? Apparently so, despite the former being a climate villain of an industry, and the latter our potential way out.
“This agreement is further evidence of this government’s long-term commitment to the UK aerospace industry and its future success” said Mandelson, as if further evidence was required. “Aerospace is one of the UK manufacturing’s crown jewels, and manufacturing is one of the UK economy’s crown jewels.”