‘Fiddling while the planet burns’: green groups respond to the spring statement

While the Treasury’s spring statement featured a number of new green initiatives, some campaign groups remained unconvinced that chancellor Philip Hammond was doing enough to protect the environment.

Low-carbon heating

Hammond’s plans for new homes to have fossil-fuel free heating by 2025 under its future homes standard - and for new developments to provide a net gain in biodiversity - drew particular attention from commentators.

Dustin Benton, policy director at the Green Alliance, described the future homes standards as “pretty bold”, and close to meeting the recommendation of the Committee on Climate Change. But he queried why it would only come into force in six years’ time. Plans to encourage the uptake of “green gas” would also need careful scrutiny, he added. “If it isn't made from waste, we'll need to be pretty careful about indirect emissions, land use, and impacts on nature.”

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