Spending Round 2019: Chancellor pledges £60m for air quality and net zero goal

Sajid Javid said leaving the EU provides an opportunity for Britain to set ‘world leading’ environmental standards

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Chancellor Sajid Javid has pledged to provide new funding totalling £60 million to help Britain meet its ambitions for decarbonisation and tackle the crisis of air pollution in cities.

Delivering his Spending Round plans for 2020/21, he said the government is “stepping up” its leadership on climate change, with £30 million of extra funding provided to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to ensure the ambitious 2050 net zero target is met.

However, further details on how the UK will make the progress towards this goal will be set out in the National Infrastructure Strategy this autumn.

The government has also committed at least £250 million to the international climate and environment funds, including the Green Climate Fund, dedicated to helping meet the landmark Paris climate change agreement.

BEIS will receive £87 million to deliver the government’s commitments to help developing countries reduce their carbon emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Mr Javid said: “We’re stepping up our leadership on climate change, with new funding for BEIS to develop new programmes to help meet our net zero commitment by 2050. And we’ll set out further details of our plans for decarbonisation in the infrastructure strategy later this year. Keeping our promise to be the first government in history to leave our environment in a better condition than we found it.”

The chancellor adds leaving the EU provides an opportunity for Britain to set “world leading” environmental standards and has pledged £432 million of funding to do so.

In addition to the £30 million of new funds allocated to improve air quality, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) will also receive an additional £30 million for biodiversity, including an expansion of the Blue Belt programme, “a vital part of our campaign to protect precious marine species like turtles, whales and seabirds”.

More than £200 million will be invested “to transform bus services” around the country, with part of the funding allocated for ultra-low emission buses.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) will receive £243 million in additional funding for to enable it to continue the work of safely decommissioning the UK’s nuclear legacy sites.

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