Green Budget and coal review: helping or hindering emission reductions?

The Chancellor's Budget statement on 16 March and the White Paper on coal nine days later reflected the environmental constraints on energy policy as never before.1 But the Government has been less than explicit about what the coal review in particular will mean for its negotiating position in international discussions over the next two years on abatement of acid gases and carbon dioxide.

The Chancellor made history by including the first ever section on "green measures" in his Budget statement. In doing so he did not go as far as Labour's environment spokesman, Chris Smith, has been demanding since he was a junior Treasury spokesman three years ago, when he urged the Chancellor to publish a "green book" explaining the environmental consequences of the Budget alongside the traditional "red book".

This is not an academic po

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