DEFRA 2008/09 Budget Announced

The 2008/09 Defra budget was yesterday made public, with a modest increase in funds (1.4%, or almost £4 billion over three years) on 2007/08 levels. Significant new investment was announced in the following areas:

  • Low Carbon Technology: The domestic Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF) has been increased to £400 million over the next three years. As part of this, the Carbon Trust will receive £47.5 million to bring forward the development of clean energy technologies such as offshore wind, marine energy and biomass heating. In addition, £800 million will be available over three years to tackle environmental challenges in the developing world.
  • Sustainable Waste Infrastructure: £2 billion for Private Finance Initiatives (PFI)  over three years.
  • Flood Protection: £2.15 billion over three years
  • Rural Development Programme for England: Resources doubled to £3.9 billion available to 2013.
In addition, the Government is to provide £10 million for a new anaerobic digestion demonstration programme, which will result in the development of at least four commercial-scale facilities to demonstrate the potential of this technology to create renewable energy from waste.
Natural England will receive a budget allocation of £176 million, a decrease on its 2007/8 budget. Natural England have welcomed the settlement, recognising it as “challenging but manageable.”