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Greenest budget desperately needed but not delivered

3rd March 2021

As the Chancellor announces the latest government budget, we’ve assessed the promises being made and ask: where’s the green investment?

It’s high time for the greenest budget ever – but today’s budget announcement doesn’t deliver this.

We at CPRE have followed today’s 2021 budget announcement by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, hoping to see real green investment to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

And the government has claimed to have a real commitment to green growth. This budget could have been an opportunity to see positive change for the countryside and climate.

‘The green leadership that the government’s rhetoric promises isn’t borne out.’

Responding to the 2021 Budget Statement today, Crispin Truman, CEO of national CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

‘The Chancellor’s Budget simply doesn’t add up – the government can’t claim to have a ‘real commitment to green growth’ while using funding models that systematically disadvantage rural communities and worsen the climate emergency. By levelling up between urban and rural investment, not just north and south, we could regenerate many rural towns and villages that have been long forgotten. It’s just not right that government spending per person on public infrastructure is 44% higher for urban areas than it is for rural areas with no major cities. We risk levelling up northern cities to the level of London and leaving rural areas stuck in disadvantage and decline.’

‘Today, the Chancellor has missed a golden opportunity to prove that the government really means business when it talks about the UK being a genuine world leader in tackling the climate emergency. What we need is for the government to help create green and sustainable jobs up and down the country that help real people, while also making the UK economy greener. The Chancellor mentioned ‘green growth’, ‘green industries’ and ‘green projects’ nine times but there’s nothing green about the jobs created by a new coal mine in Cumbria. He should be stimulating jobs in areas like Cumbria with renewable energy and energy efficiency, rather than through a coal mine that will be disastrous for carbon emissions and disastrous for our international reputation on climate in equal measure. All in all, a disappointing Budget for climate, communities and the countryside.’