The UK’s infrastructure pipeline is investing in more fossil fuel projects than clean-tech projects, according to analysis by Green Alliance.
The research reveals that spending on fossil fuel energy has jumped 8% to represent 61% of all energy infrastructure investment, according to the Treasury’s latest list of pipeline infrastructure investments. On the other hand, predicted spending on low-carbon energy projects has dropped from 92% in December 2012 to 39% in December 2014.
Green Alliance notes that the huge jump in fossil fuel spending has been entirely driven by investment in oil and gas. Below is a rundown of the succession of policy announcements that have unlocked investment in the sector.
Commenting on the findings, Matthew Spencer, director at Green Alliance, said: “The UK has led the way in taking a long-term approach to decarbonisation. It now appears that a series of short-term tactical decisions to promote road building, demote renewables and to offer tax breaks for oil and gas extraction have reversed what was a very encouraging picture for UK infrastructure.
“It means the government’s infrastructure plan is likely to lock in greater fossil fuel dependency in our economy and narrow the UK’s options for halving its carbon emissions by the middle of the next decade.
“It shouldn’t be a surprise, but these stark figures show that you can’t focus on oil extraction and road building and expect to deliver a cleaner, leaner economy.”
Looking out to 2020, the majority of investment in energy projects will shift back to low-carbon projects. However, the percentage share of fossil fuel projects has been revised up from 10% to 33%.
Green groups have been heavily critical of Osborne’s latest Autumn Statement which once again offered tax breaks and incentives for oil and gas companies.