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Is it me, or does our low carbon UK plan seem a little under funded?

Maybe I am a little jaded after nearly ten years working in corporate governance, CSR and on environmental issues. Here’s why this might be true:

The UK government has published more ambitious plans for a low carbon Britain.

See some of the details in this article: Low carbon way ‘to reshape lives’

But who amongst you, dear readers, thinks these two sets of statements are a bit of a juxtaposition?

“We need a sixfold increase in renewable energy generation in just 11 years,” Tom Delay, CEO of the Carbon Trust (funded by UK Government).

Also from the article linked above:

“Among the measures designed to stimulate expansion of renewable power are:

* up to £120m to advance the offshore wind industry
* up to £60m to stimulate progress in wave and tidal technologies
* £6m to explore geothermal energy potential”

Call me a bluff old traditionalist, but who amongst us thinks that £186 million is enough to deliver, or even make a dent in, a target of a sixfold increase in renewable energy generation in 11 years?

There are those of you who might decry government subsidies for any industry.

But we all know oil and gas are subsidised hugely, in different ways, as is jet fuel.

We have enough money (OK, we can print enough money) to bail out our banks, but not enough to do much more than PR on renewable energy investment.

Readers will know I am not a fan of the Labour administration. But I am not sure at all how much more the Tories would do/will do, just to be clear.

But it must be obvious this figure above is nowhere near enough to kick start our green jobs revolution we hear so much about.

(Enough environmental negativity, I promise to focus on positive messages and opportunity for the next few posts!)

1 Comment

  1. Rob

    Toby

    This is a very interesting piece. Youa re quite right to ask if it is underfunded but we also have to ask who should be funding the solution and how. As the problem has collective consequences it surely calls for a (and I know this is cliched) "joined-up" response. The government, consumers but importantly the utility compnaies and other businesses need to be investing in solutions.

    However, this does all beg the question about the dependence on finding technological solutions to the problem when ultimately the challenges will require a change in behaviour to have desireable and necessary outcomes.

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