How Green was the Autumn Statement?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, delivered his first Autumn Statement on Wednesday which was characterised more by the absence of any meaningful announcements on energy and the environment than anything else.

There were some positive inclusions however, notably on low carbon transport, including £390m in new money from the Chancellor’s new ‘National Productivity Investment Fund’, this will include:

  • £80m for electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • £150m for low emission buses and taxis

Other incentives related to transport announced on Wednesday include:

  • Tax breaks for companies investing in EV charge point for (meaning firms that install charge points can deduct the full cost of the investment from profits before tax)
  • New lower Company Car Tax bands for the lowest emitting cars
  • Exempting ultra-low emission cars from the changes in salary sacrifice (most salary sacrifice schemes will now have to pay national insurance and tax)

Other announcements of note include:

  • £2bn investment into science R&D from 2021
  • The carbon price support will remain in place and at the current level of £18 t/C02 until 2020
  • The future of the Levy Control Framework (LCF) will be set out next year
  • A green paper on will be released in Spring next year on how retail energy markets are working for consumers
  • The fuel duty freeze will remain in place for another year
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to receive more funding and the directly elected mayors to get new borrowing powers

Although we welcome these measures there is general lack of ambition and a need for much greater action: renewable energy and energy efficiency didn’t even get a mention, whislt the uncertaintly over investment in new genrating cacity remains.

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