George Osborne accused of ‘climate-wrecking’ Budget after £1bn tax breaks for oil and gas industry
In summing up the various environmental strands of yesterday’s budget, many papers focus on the chancellors support for the ailing North Sea oil and gas sector. The Independent says that George Osborne was accused of delivering a “climate-wrecking” budget after announcing plans to give the ageing industry £1bn of tax breaks – while promising just £730m to the fledgling renewable energy projects. The move was condemned by opponents to fossil fuels, says the paper.
BBC News follows a similar theme, saying there was “anger” from green groups, adding there was a “mixed bag” of announcements on energy and climate, including “more support for a wealth fund for people living near shale gas sites; flood defence spending up £700m; freezing fuel duty; and tidying up a tangle of business taxes on energy – a measure welcomed by firms”. New Scientist also reports the dismay of climate campaigners, adding “on the plus side, the budget provides £50m for research into better energy storage technology”.
The Guardian, Reuters, the Financial Times and Climate Home also lead their reports with the news of support for the oil and gas sector. Meanwhile, both the Times, FT and Independent report the announcement by the chancellor that spending on flood defences with increase by £700m over the next five years. Carbon Brief has summarised all the key budget announcements on energy and climate change.