Local authorities are to be offered an additional £20 million to bring forward measures to meet targets on air quality.
The funding boost was set out by the Treasury in documents published following the Chancellor’s budget statement this afternoon, in which the Department said it would seek to support ‘more local authorities’ to meet their air quality obligations.
Elsewhere there was an additional £60 million of investment in projects to plant trees at locations across England has also been announced building on commitments in the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, launched by the Prime Minister earlier this year.
This included two pots of cash – £10 million for new street and urban trees, to be matched by contributions of funding and assistance from local authorities, community groups and charities; and up to £50 million to purchase carbon credits from landowners who plant qualifying woodland.
The latter would provide for an estimated 10 million new trees over the next 30 years, the government said.
The government will also review the impact of WLTP on Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and company car tax (CCT) to report in the spring. WLTP aims to provide a closer representation of ‘real-world’ fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The Budget documents also make reference to plans should the UK leave the European Deal without an agreement – a ‘No deal Brexit’.
On carbon emissions, the Chancellor has put forward a measure as in a ‘no deal’ scenario, the UK would cease to participate in the EU ETS from exit day.
The Treasury said that “This measure would introduce a tax on carbon dioxide emissions (and other greenhouse gas emissions on a carbon equivalent basis) produced by UK stationary installations currently in the EU ETS. The new tax will be introduced from 1 April 2019, with the first tax period ending on 31 December 2019. The tax would be known as Carbon Emissions Tax and collected by HMRC annually, with the first payment due in 2020.â€?
However, the Budget offered little else of note around air quality – and is likely to draw criticism from some corners for a continued freeze on fuel duty – representing the ninth year in a row that the tax has remained static.