EIC's managing director Matthew Farrow comments on the Chancellor's 2020 Budget.
“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.”