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"UK's first Carbon Budget' Investment in renewables, energy efficiency & green jobs"

"UK's first 'Carbon Budget' – Investment in renewables, energy efficiency &
green jobsUK - Chancellor Alistair Darling unveiled a series of 'green' initiatives
in the UK's first ever 'carbon budget' this week, with around £1 billion
pounds set aside to encourage alternative and efficient energy use and
deliver 'green jobs'.The budget promised carbon emission cuts of 34 per cent by 2020. Darling
called the move a ""landmark step"". The increased target is well ahead of
the 20 per cent promised at EU level and sets UK targets well above those
in the US.Greenpeace dismissed the energy saving initiatives, expected to save around
380,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, as "woeful". ""The emissions saved per year
represent about two weeks' emissions from Radcliffe-on-Soar coal-powered
station" said the environment group's spokesperson.Lord Turner, chairman of the Climate Change Committee and one of the
central figures behind the budget, commented "The carbon budgets provide
the UK with the most ambitious climate change legislation in the world. We
need to start reducing our emissions now, and we need tough policies and
strong leadership from government."Offshore windOffshore wind is one of the big winners from latest budget,
Darling adding that Britain needed cleaner energy investment, talking of a
new ""North Sea energy hub"", built around offshore wind and including gas
storage and carbon capture.""The credit squeeze is holding back major offshore wind projects. I want to
lift the barriers -- through £525 million pounds of new financial support
over the next two years for offshore wind, funded through the renewables
obligation. The potential is enormous,"" he said.""I am confident that this
will lead to major projects getting the go-ahead quickly, providing enough
electricity to meet the needs of up to 3 million households.""This is still
someway short however, of the £2 billion pounds asked for by the wind
industry but should be enough to benefit a number proposed projects that
are under threat including the London Array, the world's largest.Paul Golby, chief executive of Eon UK, which holds a 30 per cent stake in
the London Array, said he was "certain" the move "would help transform wind
power in the UK".Green buildingsAn additional £435 million pounds of extra support will be provided "to
deliver energy efficiency measures for homes, businesses and public
buildings" such as weatherproofing.The government also announced that from a £500 million pounds package
designed to kick-start the building industry it would spend £100 million
pounds helping local authorities to build low-carbon homes.Car Scrappage & Green CarsIn an attempt to boost sales within the struggling automotive industry and
encourage people to switch to greener, more efficient vehicles, Darling
confirmed that the government will launch a scrappage scheme worth £2,000
per car. The scheme covers the 10 million cars in the UK currently older
than 10 years. The scheme kicks in next month and is likely to run until
next March or until the money runs out, whichever is soonest.The Chancellor also announced a major reform to vehicle excise duty next
year "to encourage manufacturers to produce cleaner cars" new bands will be
introduced offering an "incentive to encourage drivers to choose the least
polluting car".Green-collar jobsThe Governments green jobs strategy was key to this carbon budget. Darling
claimed government spending on environmental initiatives in the fight
against climate change would create large numbers of ""green-collar jobs"".
He claimed that there "could be over a million jobs in our environmental
industries within the next two decades" providing "huge opportunities" for
business."These budgets give industry the certainty needed to develop and use
low-carbon technology – cutting emissions, creating new businesses and
jobs."Funding for skills development and training also increased, with £260
million pounds focused on ""sectors"