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Budget 2018: The Green Economy responds

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive, Energy UK

“We welcome the clarity government has provided on Carbon Price Support (CPS) rates up to 2020-21. While it is not our preferred solution we are encouraged by the intention to maintain a carbon price signal in the case of a “no deal” Brexit scenario. Energy UK believes that maintaining a robust carbon price signal is critical to boost the confidence of potential investors in low-carbon generating technologies.

“It is also encouraging to hear that government will be investing in business energy efficiency with the announcement of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, and a call for evidence on a new Business Energy Efficiency Scheme.”

Juliet Davenport, chief executive, Good Energy

“Given the calls for urgent action on climate change heard this month with the publication of the IPCC’s latest report, we had hoped to see some radical policies for emissions reductions in the 2018 budget. Instead we got more tokenism than real commitment making significant societal change.

“An extension of enhanced allowances for electric vehicle charging points and a commitment to post-Brexit carbon pricing are both welcome. But fuel duty is still frozen and the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendation of enabling investment in cheap wind and solar energy remains largely ignored. Politics is still not debating the hard questions, and making the difficult decisions we need to stop the global temperature rising above 1.5 degrees. We need bolder, braver policy decisions to tackle climate change, and we need them urgently.”

James Court, policy and external affairs director, Renewable Energy Association

“It is frustrating that another Budget comes and goes, yet the opportunity for the UK to be a genuine leader in crucial future technologies slips by. There is huge support for renewables across the country, parliament, and even within government, yet the Treasury continues to stymie the potential growth in this sector.

“Next to nothing in this budget will help build clean energy infrastructure we so desperately need, and in parts actively harms the industry. Carbon Prices frozen, tax allowances for energy products scrapped, and a continued block to market for the cheapest forms of electricity.”

Oliver Rix, parter in Energy and Resources, Baringa Partners

“The lack of any announcements in today’s Budget aimed at supporting the uptake of electric vehicles, is incredibly disappointing… The question is how to manage a transition as EV vehicle costs decline, without significant risk of stifling the momentum that has been building. Just as the government is looking at ramping up its long term ambition in light of the IPCC’s recent report, which revealed the dangers of missing the Paris Agreement by .5 degrees C, this decision is too much of a cut too soon. Electric car uptake had been one of the key success stories of the UK’s Road to Zero ambitions, but removing the grant could put electric cars beyond the reach of consumers. We urge the government to review its policies on electric vehicles, as its current stance risks putting uptake in reverse.”

Chris Hewett, chief executive, Solar Trade Association

“Investment in renewable energy has plummeted in the UK and largely for want of fair tax and market treatment. The Chancellor has again missed a vital opportunity to do the right thing, not only by the planet and the thousands of people who want to support clean energy, but by simple fair market principles.

“This government claims to support clean, green technologies, but this rhetoric is far from being matched by even the most modest of actions. Solar is the biggest clean energy market in the world today and by putting obstacles in the path of this technology the Government is frustrating the urgent energy transition and putting British industries at a disadvantage in global clean energy markets.”

Max Wakefield, lead campaigner, 10:10 Climate Action

“As we reach climate crunch time, it’s clear the chancellor is barely paying attention. This budget should have laid the path towards a cleaner, greener country - where our energy is clean, our homes are warm and our air is breathable. Instead we’re being held back by a government intent on shovelling money to fossil fuels.

“A fortnight out from its Green Great Britain Week the government risks shredding its climate credibility altogether. This budget was yet another missed opportunity to back onshore wind and solar so we can lower our bills and our carbon. At the same time as the government cuts support for electric cars this budget pumped £30 billion to ramp up road building. The government must get serious to avoid creating an environmental debt it will be impossible for the next generation to repay.”


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