Calls for green sector boost

The Chancellor has been urged to earmark more funding for the UK's burgeoning green energy sector when he announces his Budget next month.

While Alistair Darling's pre-Budget report, which was released in November, outlined proposals to give the sector around £535 million, environmental groups have joined a number of MPs in calling for this amount to be revised, particularly given the fresh challenges now facing the economy as a whole.

According to the newly-published Green Fiscal Policy in a Recession from the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), by stepping up investment in green energy, the government can also provide a much-needed boost for, among others, the construction and engineering sectors.

"Meeting our climate change targets will require a step-change in funding for the low carbon energy sector, especially when the financial crisis has led to a shortage of capital," EAC chairman and MP Tim Yeo argued.

"There is clear evidence that investment in low carbon industries will lead to net job creation," he added.

Meanwhile, the £33 million National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) project has gotten underway, with scientists from across the globe to work alongside UK specialists in the government-funded climate monitoring initiative.

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