The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs emerged as a winner of extra green funds from this afternoon’s Spending Round, with new Chancellor Sajid Javid announcing a 3.3 per cent rise (£100m) in the Department’s budget for next year. Declaring that “a healthy environment is a pre-condition for a healthy population”, Javid said an extra £432m would also be allocated to Defra to ensure that Britain has “world leading environmental standards” post Brexit. Some £30m of Defra’s budget increase is earmarked for action to improve UK air quality, with another £30m for biodiversity – including cash to expand the UK’s ‘Blue Belt’ marine protection scheme which was trailed by the Prime Minister at last month’s G7 summit. It was not clear whether that money would feed through into a funding increase for the Environment Agency, which has suffered heavy budget cuts in recent years leading environmental campaigners to warn of a huge “enforcement gap” for green rules. Meanwhile the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) was awarded a 2.2 per cent increase in its resource budget for 2020-2021, with an extra £30m going towards new projects to accelerate the UK’s progress to net zero emissions. Ahead of today’s speech a coalition of climate, environment and health NGOs wrote to the Chancellor calling for a doubling of green investment to at least £42bn to combat climate breakdown and deliver net zero by 2050. As such, campaigners and politicians were quick to criticise the amount of cash earmarked for the net zero, with Greenpeace’s head of politics Rebecca Newsom describing the Spending Round as falling “woefully short” on addressing climate change.
Business Green 4th Sept 2019 read more »
In response to the Chancellor’s ‘Spending Round’ announcements today in Parliament, Rebecca Newsom, Head of Politics for Greenpeace UK, said – “What Boris Johnson touted as the ‘the most ambitious spending round for more than a decade’ has fallen woefully short of addressing the single biggest issue of our time – the climate emergency. The Autumn budget needs to devote at least 5% of government spending to preserving the climate and nature if we’re to limit the damage to what our society and economy can withstand. Today’s statement missed the opportunity and simply kicked the can down the road. We cannot allow the net zero target to become just another empty politician’s promise. All other long-term investments become worthless if we don’t protect the life-support systems our survival depends on.”
Greenpeace 4th Sept 2019 read more »