Chancellor George Osborne has been slammed for not including measures to encourage energy efficiency in his 2015 Budget announcement.
The UK Green Building Council (GBC) said that while the Chancellor’s backing of the world’s first tidal lagoon project shows the government’s commitment to the green agenda, it is an “otherwise barren Budget” for energy efficiency.
John Alker, Director of Policy and Communications and Acting CEO of UK-GBC added: “The Chancellor is clearly running down the clock on this Parliament and its efforts to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings.”
Mr Osborne’s failure to deliver on other clean energy technologies also attracted criticism from green groups.
Greenpeace UK Executive Director John Sauven said the UK’s renewable industry needs a “long-term strategy not just a belated wink to green voters”.
“This eleventh-hour move hardly makes up for six budgets of business bungs for fracking, tax breaks for oil giants and neglect for the green technologies of the future,” he added.
The Chancellor’s package of support included tax breaks worth £1.3 billion to boost North Sea oil and gas.
Friends of the Earth’s Senior Economics Campaigner David Powell said: “With growing calls to divest from fossil fuels, massive tax breaks aimed at squeezing more gas and oil out of the ground show how dangerously out of touch the Chancellor is on climate change.”
The Budget was however welcomed by Oil & Gas UK, which believes it lays “strong foundations for regeneration” of the North Sea.
Malcolm Webb, Oil & Gas UK’s Chief Executive said: “The industry itself must now build on this by delivering the cost and efficiency improvements required to secure its competitiveness.
“These measures send exactly the right signal to investors. They properly reflect the needs of this maturing oil and gas province and will allow the UK to compete internationally for investment.”