On Wednesday the Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered the 2020 Budget. The thrust was clearly around measures to alleviate the economic impact of Coronavirus, but there was also a strong emphasis on infrastructure, with infrastructure spending rising to £640bn over this Parliament, equivalent to about 3% of GDP.
More detail will follow in the National Infrastructure Strategy later in the spring, and a comprehensive spending review is underway, due to conclude in July, which will set out departmental spending plans. There were a number of environmental measures announced, which are set out in detail in our briefing which you can download below.
Matthew Farrow shared his reaction with the environmental media: "Rishi Sunak has made a decent start on the green agenda in his first budget. A good win for EIC is the abolition of red diesel subsidies and the ending of this tax relief on pollution is welcome and levels the playing field for low emission innovation in those sectors. The extension of funding for electric vehicle grants and charging infrastructure is also good as is the additional £300m for local authorities struggling with illegal levels of NO2. The latter needs to be spent effectively to get the Clean Air Zone agenda back on track."
"Carbon capture and storage is vital to meet Net Zero – the Committee on Climate Change envisages one third of current GHG emissions being captured through CCS technology in 2050, so rapid progress in developing CCS clusters is vital. Today’s £800m for CCS is therefore welcome but more may be needed to get the momentum behind CCS given the speed of deployment needed."
"The Budget was less strong on getting our building stock ready for Net Zero. The consultation on a new £100m scheme to support heat pumps and biomass boilers for homes and small firms is unlikely to make the sort of impact we need to start the transition to zero emission buildings."
"Dealing with the impacts of climate change is essential as well as reducing emissions. The increase in spending on flood defence is much needed."
Download your member breifing covering the 2020 Budget and what announcements mean for air quality, brownfield, waste, natural capital, carbon capture, energy and more.