The government is set to inject more than £11.4bn in new funding into its net zero strategy, according to chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Autumn Budget today.
The fresh capital will go towards “the new, green industries of the future”, Sunak said this afternoon. “We are making this country a science and technology superpower”.
It will mean that the government has invested a total of £30bn into the UK’s ‘green industrial revolution’ since March.
On top of the £11.4bn, the government will spend a minimum of £6.6bn on international climate finance.
The UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) will also invest £107m in offshore wind in Teeside, as the country attempts to make its pledge of having all electricity from renewable sources by 2035 a reality.
The chancellor also said that the Budget includes investment relief to encourage businesses to adopt green technology such as solar panels, amid smaller businesses struggling to make net zero a financial priority.
“This budget marks an inflection point in the UK’s journey to a greener future and economy,” explained PwC government net zero leader, Zlatina Loudjeva. “The combination of investment in the transition to a green economy and a skills revolution is much-needed.”
The green funding and the government’s skills investment go hand in hand, Loudjeva added, as research from the Big Four firm has revealed that many people, including a disproportionate number of women, feel they lack the skills needed to undertake green jobs.
Sunak outlined a £1.4bn package, called the Global Britain Investment Fund, to encourage a bout of investment in the UK’s most innovative sectors, including green and renewable technologies.
The new fund also includes an over £800m investment in the production of electric vehicles.
Senior associate at law firm Fladgate, Adrian Mawlabaux said: “The focus on green investment comes as little surprise given the government commitment to net-zero and the prime minister’s championing of green investment as part of his strategy for post-Brexit Britain.
“The success of the Global Britain Investment Fund will depend on the criteria upon which the funds are deployed and any conditionality imposed for securing long term commitment. It will be interesting to see the government’s approach to assessing eligibility and measuring tax payer value.”
Some analysts thought the green funding was somewhat lacklustre, but environmental tax leader at PwC Jayne Harrold said it is possible the chancellor is holding back on these topics for COP26.
City A.M. has contacted the Treasury for comment.