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#budget2021: ASI’s Lawson sees missed opportunity in green infrastructure

Following today’s budget from Chancellor Sunak, Jeremy Lawson, Chief Economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments, said:

“Today’s UK budget provided welcome additional detail about how the government plans to meet its long-term climate and environmental commitments. The announcement of the new infrastructure bank will help mobilise more capital for green investment projects. The new green retail savings product will help energise wider public participation in and support for the zero carbon energy transition. And the expansion of the Bank of England’s remit to formally support net zero objectives will ensure that monetary policy decisions are working in lock-step with the government’s agenda. Taken together, these will reinforce the UK’s credentials as a global leader in the race to limit further damaging climate change.

“However, we think there were also some missed opportunities. The £40bn worth of green infrastructure the government expects to catalyse is a drop in the ocean compared with the country’s long-term green infrastructure needs. We also think that the government needs to put in place a stronger framework to evaluate the climate impacts of all its investment decisions, as well as broader policy initiatives, ensuring that each decision is compatible with its net zero commitments. Meanwhile, the decision to freeze fuel duty rates, while understandable against the current economic backdrop, represents an unnecessary implicit subsidy for the usage of fossil fuels.”

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