There were two announcements in today’s Budget that are particularly interesting for people who care about the environment.
The Government will fund the creation of a tidal lagoon power project in Swansea Bay, which could be followed by potential lagoon projects further down the line. It’s extremely important that the Government takes this slowly and properly analyses the wildlife and ecological impacts of the first project before pressing ahead with the others. Otherwise, we could end up with a situation like some other renewables where projects get too far down the investment pipeline without enough consideration of the environmental impact.
But, elsewhere in the statement Osborne announced tax breaks for the North Sea fossil fuel industry, essentially further subsidising climate change and greenhouse gas emissions at a time when we need to be drastically cutting them.
And there was a victory for the Great British Oceans coalition, as Government today announced the creation of the world’s largest marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands, a UK Overseas Territory. Let’s have some more of these kinds of reserves in waters next to UK mainland shores now please!