Recycled Policy? Sunak's 'Green' Budget Unpacked

A week after unveiling the Net Zero Strategy, the Government has incentivised flying and driving more

James Gard 28 October, 2021 | 9:55AM
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This latest Budget was light on new announcements relating to the Government’s green targets. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, briefly mentioned a £107m boon for offshore wind in Teesside as part of a wider discussion on infrastructure. But then he swiftly moved on. In fairness, last week the Government had already laid out a detailed programme as part of its Net Zero Strategy (NZS). Let’s look at at the some of the UK’s carbon commitments, short and long term.

Driving and Flying

With COP26 about to start in Glasgow, you could argue the Budget was not very green at all. Another freeze in fuel duty rises, as well as cuts to domestic airline taxes, reinforce the status quo for drivers and frequent flyers. AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says these policies “hardly encourage habitual drivers to change their behaviour”, but adds the Government needs to balance its long-term environmental targets with short-term economic pragmatism. Essentially, its keen to encourage workers back to their offices after lockdowns, and drivers have already had to deal with petrol shortages and rising pump prices in recent weeks.

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James Gard  is content editor for