Tag Archives: George Osborne

What does the budget mean for UK renewables?

Boat in offshore windfarmThe chancellor described his budget as taking bold decisions to “act now so we don’t pay later.” Osborne announced £730 million of funding for “less established” renewables and endorsed storage, demand response and interconnection. Half an hour before the Budget, the prime minister had said the UK would cut power sector emissions by 85 per cent by 2030, which is consistent with the Committee on Climate Change’s fifth carbon budget. Read more

What does the Paris agreement mean for the UK?

1fe618a8-cbea-4c11-843b-acdd28e1d355Few political deals deserve to be called historic but, as President Obama tweeted a few minutes after the gavel came down in Paris, “this is huge”. It’s huge because it’s a global agreement which means every country has to review its effort every five years. Historic because it’s a one way street to net zero emissions, and it will accelerate the low carbon technology shift we are already seeing in the global energy economy. Read more

Why government spending decisions need to account for nature

lapwing - credit marie haleThis post is by Richard Benwell,  parliamentary programme manager at RSPB and director of communications at Westmill Solar Co-operative.

If you’ve been following the to and fro of international financial markets over recent weeks, like me you might have been amazed by how ephemeral and unpredictable financial wealth can be. Not so the economic wealth that underlies those markets. While trade, production and employment are influenced by turns of confidence, and even luck, they all depend on people and assets. Read more

Low carbon infrastructure is vital to UK investment ambitions

Boat in offshore windfarmGeorge Osborne has two main objectives for government expenditure as chancellor: eliminate the deficit by cutting day to day spending and increase investment by prioritising capital spending.

As public expenditure has been reduced the chancellor has looked to the private sector to make up the shortfall.  So far, this strategy has worked: 2010-14 saw cumulative growth in GDP of seven per cent, helped considerably by £40 billion growth in the private sector investment component of GDP over the same period, a rise of 16 per cent.  This level of business investment was one of the strongest sources of growth the last parliament. Read more

From huskies to now: 10 examples that show Tory green thinking is alive and well

letwinSome Conservative commentators have argued that the vote blue/go green period of David Cameron’s leadership was unconsidered advertising, not built on any foundation of conservative philosophy. But a review of recent conservative writing on green issues suggests otherwise.  The writers are building upon the ideals of Burke and the actions of Thatcher. After a period of relative quiet after the 2010 election, we are now seeing a new wave of green conservative thinking, which suggests the environment remains close to the heart of many conservatives. Here’s a roundup of ten the best from 2007 to now: Read more

George Osborne’s Autumn Statement should be fit for all seasons

Vier JahreszeitenGeorge Osborne will have my sympathy when he sets out his response to the latest projections in his Autumn Statement.  Like his predecessors, he will be painfully aware of the inherent unreliability of these forecasts. A year ago there was talk of a triple dip recession, but now we have had a few quarters of decent growth. Yet, despite the recent positive statistics, there remains a huge gulf in perception between the optimists, who see the emergence of a robust recovery, and the pessimists who see a lack of firm foundations for anything beyond a short lived pick up.  Read more

My big idea: government should support its own policies

This is a guest post by Duncan Brack, formerly Chris Huhne’s special adviser and now a freelance researcher. It is part of a series on big ideas to reduce the UK’s environmental impact.

My big idea is for the government to be consistent in its support for its own energy and climate policies. Hardly a radical proposal, but one it is not achieving. Read more