Spending Review: What’s in it for the green economy?

Chancellor Sajid Javid declared that the UK has ‘turned the page on austerity’ in his Spending Review today, announcing the fastest planned increase in day-to-day departmental spending in 15 years. For the first time since 2002, ‘no government department will see a cut to its day-to-day budget’.

£13.8bn of spending plans were outlined, with health, education and justice catching the biggest headlines so far. But the chancellor also announced a number of green investments, including an additional £30 million to move the UK towards its net zero greenhouse gas emissions target. The detail was scant – we can expect to hear more in the National Infrastructure Strategy this autumn.

Spending Review: the green announcements at a glance

  • An additional £30 million to accelerate progress on developing decarbonisation schemes that will help to move the UK towards its net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050. Further detail on how the UK will make progress towards this target will be set out in the National Infrastructure Strategy this autumn.
  • More than £30 million increase in funding for air quality.
  • An additional £30 million for terrestrial and marine biodiversity measures, to support the maintenance and restoration of vital habitats for wildlife, progress nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and deliver the 25 Year Environment Plan. This will also help deliver commitments made on the Blue Belt, implement the Ivory Act and enhance the UK’s global leadership on biodiversity.
  • A number of green transport investments, including a further £275 million for maintaining rail infrastructure in 2020-21,over £200 million of increased funding to transform bus services, and continued support for the development of major transport projects, including Northern Powerhouse Rail, and driving forward East West rail links in the Oxford to Cambridge Arc.

We’ll be reviewing the detail when we know more, and will keep you posted on the reaction from green business and industry.