Budget 2011: How green was it for you?

A selection of comments on the 'greenest government ever's' second budget, add your own comments too:

Budget 2011 – UK still needs more investment in the Green Economy.
The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) director of policy and public affairs, Michael Lunn, said:"The EIC welcomes the Government's commitment to drive the green economy, green investment, Green Jobs and smarter ‘green' regulation. The Government's commitment to the Green Investment Bank (GIB), with a three-fold increase in its initial capitalisation, is a very welcome step and will play an important role in accelerating the UK's transition to a low carbon, resource-efficient, less-polluting economy.
"The GIB must consider the whole spectrum of environmental business opportunities within the Green Economy, not just low carbon energy. Specifically, we call on the Government to ensure funding for community scale green projects within the Green Investment Bank's mandate – as well as funding for technologies and services right across the environmental spectrum if the bank is to truly live up to its name. De-risking finance for these sectors has the potential to deliver immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, create local jobs, stimulate growth in the UK economy and empower and benefit local communities to protect the environment around them.
"George Osborne has a unique opportunity to create the foundations for the UK to lead the world in attracting global investment in high growth environmental industries, not simply consulting on it. The global environmental marketplace is currently worth over £3.2 trillion, and unless we accelerate action to secure other, equally important, environmental and sustainability investment opportunities for British business, it is likely we will have to make the transition to a low carbon, resource efficient economy with technologies supplied from countries such as China and Korea which are continuing to put in place ambitious support measures for their environmental industries. This would be disastrous for our international competitiveness."

Utilyx risk analyst at energy and carbon management specialists, Andrew Horstead,  said: "The government continues to promise that it will be the greenest ever, but there is still a long way to go if the steps announced in today's Budget are to have any real impact.  We feel it is a missed opportunity.

"While it's encouraging to see the UK become the first country in the world to introduce a carbon floor price, £16 per tonne from 2013 is too low if real investment in green energy is to be encouraged. 
"We calculate that based on the current price of carbon in the EU emissions trading scheme, the carbon floor price would not actually kick in until 2014.
"This is not soon enough to stimulate the sort of investment that is required if we are serious about decarbonising the electricity sector.  When looking at the impact on generation, this would only increase the cost of coal-fired generation by £8 per megawatt hour by 2020. This will lift power prices but is unlikely to discourage coal burn during this period. 
"This seems to be more a case of the government dipping their toe in the water rather than the ‘bold' moves promised, and raises the question of whether enough is being done to drive green investment.

"The decision to give the Green Investment Bank access to a total of £3 billion rather than the £1 billion initially promised, is certainly more than many were expecting.
"However, creating a Bank that cannot borrow for five years seems to be missing the point. More than anything, this is sending out the wrong signals and actually putting UK investors on the back foot rather than helping to support the enormous green investment required over the coming decade.

"It's good to see the government providing some reassurance to businesses and green investors, but the question of whether this is enough to drive change and help us achieve our climate goals in these crucial early years has to be asked. What was announced today does little to reduce the complexity of these measures, and clarity is going to be essential if further investment in green initiatives is to be realised."
RenewableUK Policy director, Dr Gordon Edge,  said: "The Government made the right decision to set up the GIB as a bank, rather than a fund, with the powers to borrow money post 2015. The fact that the GIB funds will be underwritten by the Treasury shows Government commitment to attracting long term investment.
"While supporting the carbon-floor price, which will make low carbon electricity more competitive with electricity from coal and gas, the industry called for a longer term indication of post 2020 levels.  RenewableUK also called for a commitment to reinvest proceeds (projected at over 3 billion in 2013-2016) in low carbon transition programmes and green energy R&D.

"Today's details on the carbon floor price and the GIB should be the first steps towards a long term solution on funding for a host of technologies such as the next generation of offshore wind farms and wave and tidal devices. We would encourage more clarity and further action following today's budget, as the measures so far look promising.

"Finally, measures on enterprise zones and education and training could translate into supply chain growth, particularly around UK ports. RenewableUK has called for more action in encouraging entrants not just at apprentice and graduate levels, but also for mature employees looking to transfer skills. "
Climate Change Capital vice-chairman, James Cameron, said: "The Budget is a pivotal moment in the evolution of the Green Investment Bank concept into a real and enduring institution. The Coalition is creating something that can make a positive difference to the entrepreneurial enterprises we need to deliver sustainable growth and the green transformation of our economy."

"In the current fiscal environment committing £3bn is an achievement and by allowing the GIB to borrow mid-decade, its lending can ramp up quickly when the country's low carbon capital requirements reach a critical point. But, this mustn't be a question of "fire and forget.
"It is also important that as the Bank develops, its capital base is regularly reinforced with pollution permit auction proceeds and newly announced UK carbon tax revenues."

"And for the Bank to make a material difference with its initial capitalisation, it simply can't do everything straight away. In the near term it must be focused on specific financing challenges. For example, attracting the deep pools of low cost capital held by institutional investors to finance mission critical green infrastructure, such as offshore wind and energy efficiency."

Climate Change Capital head of research and market aLuke Walsh

Topics: edie
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