The Chancellor has announced new funding plans in his fast-tracked Spending Round. Plans in relation to the climate crisis included £30 million in new funding for BEIS to develop programmes to help meet the net zero commitment by 2050. Further priorities for decarbonising infrastructure are planned for the National Infrastructure Strategy in Autumn this year. This includes an indication that the Government will continue to rely on the advice of the National Infrastructure Commission in the production of the Strategy

There will be a £30 million increase in funding for measures improving air quality, and an additional £30 million for terrestrial and marine biodiversity measures. This is designated as for supporting the maintenance and restoration of habitats for wildlife, progressing nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation and delivering the 25 Year Environment Plan.

John Alker, Director of Policy & Places, UKGBC, said:

“Whilst we welcome the Chancellor’s attention to achieving net zero and protecting biodiversity, the funding announced is nowhere near the levels needed to address these growing environment crises. At a time when the public and businesses are waking up to the realities of long term environmental damage, the Government seems to be out of touch by putting forward token gestures of funding.

If the Government is serious about leaving the environment in a better state than it found it, and the Chancellor is sincere in his commitment to addressing the climate emergency he spoke about during the Leadership debates, then the environment will need more than ‘small change’. If the UK is to truly lead the world ahead of hosting COP 26, a step change in ambition is sorely needed.”