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Green Investment and the 2024 Spring Budget: What was Missing?

Green Investment: discussing the Spring Budget

As the parliamentary Spring Budget debates ensue this week, what was missing regarding the green agenda?

While the green industry was pleased to hear investment is being made in aiding the decarbonisation of the UK’s grid through the purchase of two nuclear sites and further investment of £120 million in the Green Industries Growth Accelerator (GIGA) to support the low carbon manufacturing of supply chains across the UK, many felt that this was inadequate.

Leaders in the green industry and MPs have voiced their discontent regarding the financial measures disclosed in the Spring Budget, contending that they fall short in tackling the imperative for investments in renewable energy sources. These investments, crucial for job creation, are seen as pivotal to the levelling up agenda and an accelerated departure from fossil fuels. Beyond the economic aspect, this dissatisfaction is rooted in the recognition that increased support for renewable energy is crucial for the future of our planet, curtailing environmental degradation, mitigating climate change, and for materialising the vision of affordable, clean energy for the next generation.

Green Jobs: Where are New Areas for Innovation?

Investing in green jobs is crucial for the future of Britain. The creation of such jobs will contribute to employment opportunities and skills development. The transition to a green economy requires a skilled workforce in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, and agricultural conservation. Investing in training and education for green jobs ensures that the workforce is prepared for the demands of a sustainable future.

Furthermore, it will help the UK’s levelling up agenda – by strategically locating sustainable projects in areas with higher unemployment rates or economic challenges, the levelling up agenda can be advanced, spreading economic opportunities more evenly. Furthermore, involving local communities in the planning and execution of green projects fosters a sense of ownership and empowerment. Local communities become stakeholders in the transition to a green economy, ensuring that the benefits are distributed more equitably and align with the needs and priorities of different regions.  

However, Senior Deputy General Secretary at trade union Prospect, Sue Ferns stated: “[The] budget fell far short of the action needed to accelerate the clean energy rollout and create good jobs… we are yet to see a proper industrial strategy to deliver good jobs across the renewables industry.’’

Rachael Maskell MP also commented that “I was greatly disappointed that York and North Yorkshire’s green new deal did not get a mention. It has the opportunity to create 4,000 green-collar jobs. BioYorkshire will be a game changer for our region and for the climate. We need to ensure that we elect David Skaith as Labour’s first Mayor for York and North Yorkshire, because he will bring that project to life.’’

Green Investment and Affordable Energy:

Investment in sustainable energy is crucial for long-term cost savings because it harnesses abundant, renewable resources, takes advantage of technological advancements, and avoids the costs brought about by environmental degradation.

Costain nuclear sector director Bob Anstey said: “To meet the UK’s domestic energy requirements over the coming decades, accelerating our ability to generate safe, low carbon and sustainable electricity is essential…At the same time, there are pressing infrastructure and skills shortfalls that need to be addressed to ensure these initiatives land on fertile ground. We know from working on complex civil nuclear projects that collaboration is key to delivering successful and cost-efficient projects, and it will be even more crucial if we want to make the next generation of clean, affordable energy a reality.”

This collaborative approach is essential for realising the next generation of clean, affordable energy and ensuring its success and cost-efficiency.

Final Thought: Why Green Energy Investment Should be a Crucial Part of Government Spending:

Green energy investment is crucial for fostering long-term cost savings, as it leverages abundant, renewable resources, capitalises on technological advancements, and mitigates environmental degradation costs.

The sustainability of green energy initiatives contributes to reduced carbon footprints, playing a pivotal role in combating climate change and promoting a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations.

Additionally, these investments drive innovation and job creation, enabling the growth of industries focused on renewable technologies. As the green sector expands, it offers employment opportunities and stimulates economic activity. Recognising the multifaceted benefits of green energy, it becomes apparent why green industry leaders and MPs were insistent that the government should have prioritised and included more robust provisions for green investment in the Spring Budget.

Read more by visiting Chamber UK’s section on ‘Conservation and the Environment‘ to find out about more issues affecting the Net Zero agenda.

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