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Government Slashes Carbon Trust Funding

By Laura Elahi on February 16, 2011

PM David Cameron

The UK Government has reduced funding for the Carbon Trust by 40 per cent, resulting in scores of redundancies and the cancellation of numerous energy-saving projects.

Established to “accelerate the move to a low-carbon economy”, the Carbon Trust is seen as Britain’s leading agency on the development of low-carbon technology and initiatives. The agency’s funding cut is expected to cost 35 jobs and has already resulted in the termination of grants to a biofuel project.

Chemical engineer Adam Harvey, of Newcastle University, noted: “The cut is very much against the claim of David Cameron and the Government that they would regenerate the UK’s economy via green technology – it’s the exact opposite in fact.”

Meanwhile, Ruth Davis, of Greenpeace, argued: “A key test of a leader’s commitment to fighting climate change is in the nuts and bolts work of ensuring Britain builds a high-tech clean energy economy. He [Prime Minister David Cameron] risks failing that test within a year of taking power.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Climate Change responded: “The Carbon Trust will continue to play an important role in the drive towards energy efficiency and supporting innovative low-carbon technologies and is being funded accordingly next financial year. At the same time we are acting across the board to ensure we get value for the taxpayer as part of tackling the deficit.”

The Carbon Trust’s funding cut comes less than a month after the Government halved the budget of the Energy Saving Trust, which provides free advice and financial help to members of the public who wish to cut their carbon footprint. The Carbon Trust provides a similar service to businesses, focusing on new technologies that could be used to improve energy efficiency.

Notwithstanding the cuts to the Carbon Trust and the Energy Saving Trust, households and businesses across Britain can reduce their carbon footprint by implementing various energy-saving measures. Old gas central heating boilers can be replaced with the latest, most energy efficient condensing boilers, whilst double glazing, loft insulation and the installation of solar panels can also help to reduce a building’s carbon emissions.