The UK Government has distributed just £30m of £152m worth of key environmental and renewable energy funds over the last three years – representing an underspend of 80% – according to research by the Liberal Democrats.
Freedom of Information requests to the Department for Energy and Climate Change found that just a fraction of budgets and funds for carbon reduction and renewable energy had been spent, despite Gordon Brown’s claims that the schemes, part of the Environmental Transformation Fund, would ‘help bring […] technologies to the marketplace, creating businesses and jobs.’
The research also found that:
- The Low Carbon Buildings Programme phase 2 had a budget of £34m for 2006/07-2008/09, but distributed less than £10m
- The Marine Renewables Deployment Fund (MRDF) – a £50m fund that has operated for 3 years – still has over £48m unallocated despite previous criticism of its effectiveness
- There had been ‘no successful applications to the MRDF commercial demonstration scheme’ despite the Government’s claim that it expected the first successful applications early in 2009
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Scotland Secretary, Alistair Carmichael said:
“This shows Labour are failing Britain on jobs and the environment.
“Gordon Brown claimed these funds would create jobs and develop green technologies – but now we find the vast majority of the money never reached the people who needed it.
“This kind of incompetence is shameful when we have rising unemployment and a pressing need to cut emissions.
“Real investment in renewables would help to create employment and reduce Britain’s carbon footprint. The Liberal Democrats would renovate the UK’s ports and shipyards to put them at the cutting edge of the renewable energy industry.”