CLIMATE group Extinction Rebellion (XR) Furness has spoken out about the impact that Coronavirus has had environmental action.

The group is concerned that any action to combat climate change has taken a back seat whilst the world deals with the immediate effects of the potentially deadly Covid-19.

However, it is believed that the reaction to Coronavirus is helping to reduce pollution.

A spokesman for XR Furness said: “Apparently the climate emergency has been put on the back burner till the autumn budget because of what is seen as the more pressing need to act on the coronavirus crisis.

“But we need immediate action on both.

“Worldwide actions on coronavirus are in fact having a dramatic effect on the climate.

“In China, the smog has gone. Air travel is reduced and people are working from home, cutting the need for travel.

“But although a start was made in this budget, an opportunity was missed for massive investment to prevent the worst effects of climate change and biodiversity loss.

“Some of the measures announced are encouraging: on red diesel, electric vehicles, carbon capture, plastic packaging, flood relief, tree planting and protection for natural habitats. But none go far enough.

“And there was nothing on ring-fenced spending on public transport and cycling infrastructure rather than “roads”, for instance, and no mention of air travel, whether taxing fuel, cancelling airport expansion or research and development for cleaner aircraft.

“There was nothing about housing standards or retrofitting old houses, nothing about helping small farms become environmental stewards and demonstrate good practice, nothing about environmental education to help children learn to be sustainable.

“It’s clear that governments and citizens can work together fast when they see the need.

“The problem is that while change is needed now, people hear 2050 and think there is time.

“People are taking action on coronavirus because they see an immediate threat to their parents or grandparents, whereas some people think their kids will develop a technological fix for the climate so they don’t need to worry.”