George Osborne delivers the 2012 budget at 12.30pm today. Some of the main environmental themes emerging from last year included the Green Investment Bank, carbon capture and storage, and the Green Deal. But where are we today?
In the 12 months that followed, Cameron and co. have failed to show substantive evidence of the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition being the “greenest government ever”, typified by a less than sustainable autumn statement.
Environmental campaigners rapped Osborne for comments he made in the statement, claiming the chancellor had put economic gain ahead of more urgent green ambitions.
One promise the Government appears to have kept, though, is its plan for the Green Investment Bank (GIB). Despite advice given by Blue & Green Tomorrow as to where it should be located (for the record; Nottingham), Edinburgh and London were eventually chosen as host cities earlier this month.
Whilst we noted that the Government had gone down the “well-trodden path of predictability” by opting for the pair, the fact is, the GIB is ‘under construction’. And that, at least, is positive.
Another on-going chapter of Osborne’s 2011 budget is carbon capture and storage (CCS) – a way of continuing to burn fossil fuels, but without the pollution.
Only last week, the Department for Energy and Climate Change announced a £20m competition for CCS innovators, in an attempt to push the sector onwards.
In November last year, though, the Government had to reassure the public that the £1 billion it had promising to invest in the industry, was still on track.
One of the more unstable plans from the past year is the Green Deal, the Government’s “flagship” energy efficiency scheme that got the go-ahead in October.
The Guardian produced an ‘at-a-glance’ overlook of the environmental promises made by Osborne at last year’s budget. Were there any other environment-related areas that you think the Government failed to deliver on or even address? Let us know.
We’ll be tweeting the exciting parts during Osborne’s budget reading, so head over to our Twitter page, @bluegreentweet, to follow.
Obviously, we’ll be completely impartial, but we reserve the right to draw the same conclusion as our founder, Simon Leadbetter, in his article about the autumn statement, “What we suspect we have is a business-as-usual government trying to jump start borrowing and our financial services industry, so the good times come back.”
Is it the greenest ever Government? At 12.30pm, we’ll find out.
Picture source: altogetherfool