A missed opportunity to ‘deliver the greenest Budget ever’

11 March 2020

Today’s Budget will go down as a missed opportunity to deliver the greenest Budget ever, according to CPRE, the countryside charity.

Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget Statement, Crispin Truman, chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

‘While the short-term focus of this Budget quite rightly lies in the UK’s response to the global coronavirus, it’s disappointing that the government has not delivered on its much-touted ‘greenest Budget ever.’

The announcement of the £27 billion worth of tarmac, and the continued fuel duty freeze, clearly undermine the government’s claim to be tackling the climate emergency. This sort of investment will only serve to encourage more people into cars instead of using sustainable and reliable public transport, where significant investment is sorely needed. Road investment means more carbon emissions fuelling the climate crisis and poorer air quality choking our cities, towns and rural communities.

‘However, it was heartening to hear the Chancellor announce the creation of the Nature for Climate Fund with more investment to ensure we harness the power of nature to tackle the climate emergency. Investing in restoring peat bogs and planting more trees, both of which lock up carbon, is welcome. Let’s ensure this fund focuses on planting more hedgerows, which need to be increased by at least 40 per cent in order to tackle the climate emergency.’

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