Chancellor backs shale gas and heavy industry
- Mitigation ,
- Business & Industry ,
Tax incentives for shale gas exploration and exemption from the climate change levy for energy-intensive sectors were among the headlines from the 2013 budget
Presenting his fourth budget to parliament, George Osborne told MPs that “shale gas is part of the future and we will make it happen”, as the chancellor introduced what he described as a “generous” new tax regime to promote investment in the industry.
Following promises in previous statements to provide support for high-energy using sectors, Osborne also confirmed that the government would be exempting some industrial processes, such as ceramic and metal manufacture, from the climate change levy (CCL) from 1 April 2014. Draft legislation detailing the processes to be exempt will be published alongside the autumn statement, confirmed the chancellor.
“Creating a low-carbon economy should be done in a way that creates jobs rather than costing them,” said Osborne in his budget speech. “We will exempt from next year the industrial processes for the ceramic industry and some others from the CCL. And in the next spending round we will provide support for energy intensive industries beyond 2015.”
The budget also revealed higher than expected carbon price floor (CPF) levels for 2015/16 and beyond. From 1 April 2015, the cost of carbon will rise to £18.08 per tonne, almost double the cost predicted for that year in 2011, with prices expected to rise to £24.62 in 2017/18.
The CPF, which will come into force on 1 April, will not apply in Northern Ireland, the chancellor has confirmed, in order to ensure that electricity generators can “maintain their competitiveness with those in the Republic of Ireland”.
Other budget measures include: exempting state schools in England from the carbon reduction commitment energy efficiency scheme from April 2014; increasing the higher rate of landfill tax to £80 per tonne; and introducing two new company car tax bands for ultra-low emission vehicles from 2015.
The chancellor also scrapped the 1.89p per litre rise in fuel duty that had been due to take effect from 1 January 2013, but which he had postponed until 1 September 2013 in his 2012 autumn statement.
Cancelling the rise in duty will save a typical haulier £750 a year, according to the treasury, but could mean that the UK’s annual carbon emissions are 200,000 tonnes higher.
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COVID-19 recovery packages have largely focused on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, and have been a “lost opportunity” for speeding up the global energy transition.
Half of the world's 40 largest listed oil and gas companies will have to slash their production by at least 50% by the 2030s to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement, new analysis has found.
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.