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According to a study, the UK allocates the smallest amount of funding compared to other major European countries for policies promoting low-carbon energy.
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According to a study, the UK allocates the smallest amount of funding compared to other major European countries for policies promoting low-carbon energy.

According to analysis, the United Kingdom allocates less funding towards green energy initiatives compared to other prominent European countries, despite evidence suggesting that this investment could reduce household expenses and boost economic growth more effectively than the government’s proposed tax cuts.

According to an analysis by Greenpeace of data from the International Energy Agency, the UK spent a total of $33.3 billion (£26.2 billion) on low-carbon solutions between April 2020 and April 2023. This was the least amount compared to the top five European economies.

In terms of western European economies, Italy spent the most at $111 billion, followed by Germany with $92.7 billion, France with $64.5 billion, and Spain with approximately $51.3 billion.

The information covers costs related to electricity infrastructure, advancements in energy efficiency, developments in alternative fuels and technology, sustainable and efficient transportation, and green electricity.

Furthermore, aside from investing in these actions, all nations dedicated significant funds towards ensuring affordable energy for households, often surpassing the amount allocated for low-carbon initiatives. Specifically, the UK allocated approximately $42 billion for energy affordability during this time frame, utilizing strategies like energy bill rebates, as well as providing payments and discounts for those in need.

In the UK, energy efficiency for homes and industry received $13.3bn in investments, $12.8bn was allocated for low-carbon transportation, and less than $6bn was spent on renewable electricity and innovation.

After removing expenditures for energy affordability, the UK had a significantly lower per capita spending of approximately $500 over the course of three years. In comparison, France, Germany, and Italy had per capita spending of over $950, $1,115, and $1,880, respectively.

This Wednesday, Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor of the Treasury, will present the final budget of this parliamentary term, focusing on proposed tax reductions that experts believe will primarily benefit wealthier individuals.

According to evidence and expert opinions, increasing government spending on green initiatives could improve the UK economy and productivity, however, it is anticipated that Hunt will not prioritize this issue and allocate minimal resources towards it. Green spending may have a more significant impact than tax cuts in stimulating the economy.

According to Bob Ward, the director of policy and communications at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, it is evident that the UK has been making significantly less investments in various areas compared to its competitors. This includes areas such as addressing climate change, preserving biodiversity, and managing environmental degradation.

The small amount of investment is the reason for the UK’s stagnant productivity and weak growth. It is also responsible for the vulnerability of our homes and businesses to climate change, the depletion of wildlife in our countryside and seas, the pollution in our cities, and the sewage covering our rivers and beaches.

A recent report from the LSE showed that investing approximately £26 billion annually in the low-carbon economy would lead to lower household bills, draw twice the amount of investment from private sources, and have a greater positive impact on the economy compared to tax cuts.

According to Greenpeace UK’s climate campaigner, Georgia Whitaker, the UK is falling behind other countries in the global competition for the economy of tomorrow.

“It is evident that despite the government’s bravado, we are severely lacking on the global platform in terms of investing in green initiatives. Not only are the US and China surpassing us in the competition for green technology, but we are also faring poorly in comparison to our European counterparts,” she stated.

Instead of calling for tax cuts that mainly benefit the wealthy, she urged for a focus on a green industrial strategy and investing in infrastructure. She suggested that Jeremy Hunt address this issue in the spring budget instead of prioritizing tax cuts. She also commented on the financial challenges faced by others due to the high cost of living.

The spokesperson for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero stated that this report does not acknowledge the progress we have made in comparison to our European allies. We are proud to be the first major economy to cut our emissions in half and have the second highest capacity for renewable energy in Europe.

“We have a well-defined plan in place to enhance the UK’s industry and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This plan has been supported by a total of £300 billion in investments towards low carbon initiatives since 2010.”

Source: theguardian.com