Spring Statement 2019 – Clean Growth and the Industrial Strategy

On May 13 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond delivered his Spring Statement on the state of the UK, discussing the economy and employment, but also where the country will be investing in the coming months.

Including in this was information on Clean Growth in the UK and the Industrial Strategy.

Clean Growth

The Budget 2018 set out how the Government is accelerating the shift to a clean economy, building on the Industrial Strategy, Clean Growth Strategy and 25 Year Environment Plan. The Spring Statement builds on these commitments with the following:

  • In order to help smaller businesses reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions, the Government is launching a call for evidence on a Business energy efficiency scheme to explore how it can support investment in energy efficiency measures
  • to ensure that wildlife isn’t compromised in delivering necessary infrastructure and housing, the government will Mandate net gains for biodiversity on new developments in England to deliver an overall increase in biodiversity
  • to help meet climate targets, the government will advance the decarbonisation of gas supplies by increasing the proportion of green gas in the grid, helping to reduce dependence on burning natural gas in homes and businesses
  • to help ensure consumer energy bills are low and homes are better for the environment, the government will introduce a Future Homes Standard by 2025, so that new build homes are future-proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency
  • to explore ways to enhance the natural environment and deliver prosperity, the government will launch a global review into the Economics of Biodiversity
  • to give people the option to travel ‘zero carbon’, the government will launch a call for evidence on Offsetting Transport Emissions to explore consumer understanding of the emissions from their journeys and their options to offset them. This will also look into whether travel providers should be required to offer carbon offsets to their customers
  • to help protect critical habitats, the government will support the call from the Ascension Island Council to designate 443,000 square kilometres of its waters as a Marine Protected Area

Industrial Strategy

The new package of measures to support the delivery of the modern Industrial Strategy includes:

  • £79 million to build a new ‘supercomputer’ in Edinburgh for complex calculations for research and industry projects across the UK
  • £45 million to support genetic research in Cambridge for complex health conditions
  • commitment to fusion research at the Joint European Torus (JET) megaproject in Culham to progress nuclear technology
  • call for evidence on supporting small businesses to reduce their energy bills
  • a commitment that new-build homes will feature more sustainable and efficient ways of heating, alongside other energy saving measures.
  • a new requirement for company Audit Committees to review payment practices and report on them in their annual accounts.
  • call for evidence on how to turn the UK into a global hub for offshore oil and gas decommissioning

The Government also announced that independent export Professor Arindrajit Dube would be appointed to undertake a review of the impact of minimum wages internationally. The Government will also be engaging with stakeholders through a roundtable in conjunction with the Low Pay Commisision as part of the commitment to end low pay in the UK.

You can get a breakdown of all areas discussed in the Spring Statement here.