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UK’s first carbon budget implemented

Alastair Darling’s 2009 UK budget has some fairly significant environmental measures included within it, but it won’t boost green recovery. That there is now a national carbon budget is an excellent and significant thing: and that the steadily tightening limits on the UK’s carbon emissions to 2022 are legally binding is extremely important. The carbon budget is designed to help us meet a 34% reduction by 2020, as recommended by the ICCC last December (this is likely to increase to 42% at Copenhagen, if all goes well with a global agreement). Offshore wind projects; energy efficiency measures for homes and buildings; low carbon energy and green manufacturing were also all well supported. But not as well supported as RBS bonuses earlier this year. Hard to tell which is the greatest issue of our time from that message…

Darling did re-use the old red budget briefcase, but that’s where the reduce and reuse ends: cars over 10 years old will no doubt be scrapped in their thousands despite being roadworthy as £2000 was put on offer to anyone wanting to buy a new car. This was dressed up as a positive for the environment (new cars have less emissions, better fuel efficiency) but the net result will be more cars in the world, loads of which would have lasted longer but instead will be scrapped.