Budget 2013: green measures at a glance

21st March 2013

This article was taken from guardian.co.uk and was written by Adam Vaughan. A direct link to the original article can be found at the bottom of the page.

Infrastructure spending

The chancellor dashed hopes in the renewable energy industry that it might figure in his talk of more public expenditure on big infrastructure projects. Instead, he cited high-speed rail investment, and said the government was "spending more on new roads than in a generation". 

Low-carbon energy

Osborne said that "creating a low-carbon economy should be done in a way that creates jobs – not costs them", but did not spell out how this should be done. He highlighted Tuesday's planning go-ahead for new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset, and a promise to take forward two new carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects as part of the UK's £1bn CCS competition.

Shale gas

Osborne reiterated his autumn statement pledge to give tax breaks to encourage shale gas development in the UK. "I want Britain to tap into new sources of low-cost energy sources like shale gas," he said, adding the government would set up a new shale gas field allowance.

Energy-intensive industries

The ceramics industry will be given exemption from a tax known as the climate change levy, the chancellor said, leading to smiles from Tristram Hunt, the Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent, where much of the industry is based. Osborne said that "some other industries" would also be made exempt, and that support for energy-intensive industries would be extended beyond 2015.

Cars and fuel

New incentives for the manufacture of ultra low-emission vehicles were promised. Two new company car tax bands will be introduced from April 2015 for cars with emissions of 0-50g/CO2 per kilometre, ie electric cars. But as expected Osborne cancelled a planned fuel duty increase in September. In the past, he has cancelled several scheduled fuel duty rises, most recently a 3p rise per litre due in January.

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