Green briefcase In the Times on Monday Nicholas Stern made the point that the budget would be a critical test of the consistency and credibility of the government’s policies on climate change. So how well did they do? Here is our Budget Report.

The £100m funding to improve insulation in social housing is an excellent start, but this must go hand in hand with measures for private sector housing especially those in private rented accommodation. We need more policies to support investment in to making energy efficiency for home owners more affordable and easy to do.

Equally the £100m package to build new homes with high energy efficient standards is a step in the right direction and the extra £405m for extra support for low carbon industries which will help kick start more energy efficient housing developments is to be applauded. However Government must then hold these builders accountable to build to a minimum of Code Level 3, enforced properly, and Government must stick to its long term commitment for even higher standard (Code Level 6) for all new builds.

By providing an extra £45m for microgeneration in the Low Carbon Building Programme the government is helping to ramp up industry capacity to meet the need for more renewable energy.

And we are also pleased to see investment going into four new projects that will capture and store carbon, technology that could make Britain more self sufficient in terms of its energy needs whilst reducing emissions and creating jobs.

There is however room for improvement. The carbon friendly announcements are contradicted, sadly, by the government’s scrappage scheme. This policy will increase car purchase regardless of CO2 emissions and the government has missed a significant opportunity by spending public money to incentivise any car upgrade when they could have incentivised the lowest carbon emission cars.

Overall, as budgets go – and considering the current climate – a 6/10!