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Revision of 10 green policies condemned

The Government has scrapped or “watered down” 10 green policies since the election, according to environmental organisations.

Cancelled policies include zero carbon homes and buildings, the Green Deal, a climate change levy exemption for zero carbon energy, solar and onshore wind support via renewables obligation (RO) and contracts for difference.

As reported by MRW, the Green Investment Bank is also set to be privatised. The ‘grandfathering’ policy by which biomass plants in England and Wales receive subsidies under the RO framework is also being scrapped.

Differential vehicle excise duty has also been weakened.

The Green Alliance, the Institute for European Environmental Policy, National Trust, Campaign for Better Transport and Campaign to Protect Rural England are among those which have signed a letter to the prime minister.

The letter says the groups welcomed the Conservative manifesto commitment to “being the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than that in which we found it” but questioned whether its policy scrapping would achieve this.

It reads: “These policies were developed over many years, often with cross-party backing, and with the support and involvement of many businesses and charities. Only one of these decisions, to end subsidies for onshore wind, was a commitment from your manifesto.

“We have, as yet, seen no positive new measures introduced to restore the health of our environment or grow the low-carbon economy.”

The letter also says tt DECC and Defra, the two most relevant departments, are at risk from disproportionate reductions in their staffing because their budgets are not protected under the Tories’ spending policies.

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