The Guardian view on climate and the budget: Sunak fails the green test | Editorial

The Guardian view on climate and the budget: Sunak fails the green test | Editorial

By failing to plan for a low-carbon recovery, the chancellor has revealed his lack of vision

The absence of green measures was not the only sense in which this week’s budget was a missed opportunity. The failure to address social care was another sign that the government is far more interested in short-term point-scoring than forward planning. But it is hugely disappointing that the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, did not choose to make the environment a big theme of this pandemic budget, all the more so in light of the UK’s crucial role as host of the upcoming Cop26 climate talks in November.

The UK is far from alone in failing to deliver the green recovery that climate experts are united in believing is necessary, if the world is to avoid catastrophic global heating. Research on 30 countries shows that the proportion of stimulus spending on green initiatives is even lower now than after the 2008 financial crash. But having previously been a global leader on climate policy, the UK under Boris Johnson now risks sabotaging itself. Mr Sunak’s failure to prioritise green measures, which did not even merit a mention in his glossy pre-budget video, is the worst possible sequel to the government’s shambolic recent record.

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