Government green commitments
Yesterday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, unveiled the Treasury’s spending plans in his Budget statement. This is the second Budget announcement delivered by the chancellor this year and comes days before the COP26 UN climate change conference begins in Glasgow.
The budget speech itself lacked an environmental focus and was surprisingly light on climate and net zero content. However, the official Budget and Spending Review documents published yesterday set out the government’s green commitments in more detail, confirming a total of £30 billion of domestic investment for the green industrial revolution.
Key climate and energy announcements
Trident has delved into some of the key climate and energy-related pledges from yesterday’s Budget announcement below.
- £6.1 billion to support the policies and strategy set out in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.
- £416 million of UK-wide R&D funding for programmes to help commercialise low and zero emission transport technologies, including trials of three zero emission HGV technologies, and a multi-year Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition.
- £180 million to kick-start the development of commercial-scale UK sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plants and a SAF clearing house to test and certify new fuels.
- An additional £620 million for public charging in residential areas and targeted plug-in vehicle grants, building on the £1.9 billion committed at SR20.
- An increase in capital support to £817 million over the SR21 period for the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains.
- £3.9 billion for England and Wales to ensure buildings are warmer and cheaper to heat, while supporting jobs across the country.
- £450 million to grow the heat pump market in England and Wales as part of the ambition to work with industry to reduce the costs of heat pumps by 25-50% by 2025.
- £950 million for the Home Upgrade Grant and £800 million for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and £1.4 billion to help decarbonise the public sector estate in England.
Decarbonisng energy and industry through new technologies
- £240 million for the Net Zero Hydrogen Fund and £1 billion for the Carbon Capture Usage & Storage (CCUS) Infrastructure Fund.
- £1 billion funding for the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, as announced in the Ten Point Plan, which is accelerating nearto-market low-carbon technology innovations.
- £385 million Advanced Nuclear Fund is developing the next generation of small and advanced modular reactor technologies.
- £315 million for the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund which will help firms cut their carbon emissions and reduce energy bills.
- £1.7 billion of new direct government funding to enable a final investment decision in a large-scale nuclear project this Parliament, subject to value for money and approvals.
- £120 million for a new Future Nuclear Enabling Fund to address barriers to entry for nuclear projects
- £380 million for the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector, boosting jobs and investment across the Union
Nature and biodiversity
- more than £250 million to protect and restore nature in England in support of the UK’s world-leading target to halt biodiversity decline by 2030
- a further £625 million for the Nature for Climate Fund, ensuring total spend of more than £750 million by 2025 on peat restoration and woodland creation and management.
- a new target to raise at least £500 million in private finance to support nature’s recovery every year by 2027 in England, rising to more than £1 billion by 2030. This will be supported by a range of measures, including £30 million public investment in a Big Nature Impact Fund, as well as £140 million to assess the extent and condition of the country’s natural habitats
Despite all of this, the chancellor is under fire today for simultaneously announcing cuts to taxes for domestic flights and the continued freeze of fuel duty. Head of Rathbone Greenbank Investments John David commented: “The Budget made for confusing listening as the Chancellor emphasised the Government’s net zero strategy and support for green investment and projects, while also reducing rates for domestic flights.
“The Government must be both consistent and realistic with its plan. Change must happen now if we are to meet our net zero commitments, and this means changing how we all live and work. In the run-up to COP26, we need to see the UK take leadership of this issue, and encourage real change, not just words.”
Next week, the chancellor will host global finance ministers and businesses at COP26, with the aim of addressing the growing issue of global warming on an international scale. As the President of COP26, all eyes will be on the UK to lead international efforts and agree on coordinated action on climate change. Trident Utilities will be keeping track of what’s happening at COP26 and will be posting updates on our website and LinkedIn page throughout the conference.
Make your Net Zero pledge
Every business has a role to play in tackling climate change. Trident has developed a suite of Net Zero services to help businesses to start measuring their carbon footprint and lower their carbon emissions. Our cloud-based carbon management platform pulls together your energy, transport and financial data into one, easy-to-access place. Our experts can support you at every step of your journey to net zero, from helping to collect your data, highlighting areas that may need attention first to rewarding you for strengthening your commitment to carbon reductions through an accreditation program.
Take the first step on your journey to a greener future and download our ‘Helpful Guide to Net Zero’ below.
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