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Green opportunities missed with Budget 2015


2 min read Partner content

David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF-UK today said that opportunity knocked but the Chancellor only partially opened the door to greener, smarter growth in response to George Osbornes budget speech.

Welcoming the only major piece of good news for the environment, government support for an ambitious new plan to harness the power of Britain’s tides, he said “Backing for Swansea’s new tidal lagoon recognises that clean energy is an essential part of our future. But a greener budget would have sent a much clearer message that dirty fuels need to be phased out, rather than offering them tax breaks.”

The Budget offered very little action to decarbonise industry or reshape the economy for a sustainable future, concentrating instead on providing a boost to the oil sector and reducing the cost of petrol at the pumps.

David Nussbaum continued:

“The Chancellor could have created jobs and boosted growth through long-term incentives for clean technologies. Giving the Green Investment Bank access to private capital would help more enterprises prosper. And reasserting the role of the Natural Capital Committee would ensure more prudent management of the natural resources on which our economy depends.

“With the threat posed by climate change and environmental degradation, we face a global challenge that our political leaders must address head on. As we approach the general election all parties should put green economics front and centre of their manifestos.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband, in his response to the speech, said that a Labour Government would take climate change seriously and establish a ‘proper green investment bank’. WWF is urging all political parties to put the environment at the heart of their plans for sustainable economic growth.

WWF-UK’s A Greener Budget report called for this and future budgets to:

Promote the protection and improvement of natural capital, building on the work and recommendations of the Natural Capital Committee.
Drive innovation and investment in resource efficiency.
Provide incentives for growth in low carbon industries, including through a major programme of investment as part of the Government’s long-term infrastructure plan.
Ensure that government expenditure promotes sustainability.
Promote a more resilient and sustainable financial system.

Read the most recent article written by WWF - Make the government machine go green