Add this to the Budget, for free

Labour’s Budget, revealed Tuesday, provides much needed support for the environment to the tune of roughly £5 billion. This includes £525 million for renewable energy subsidies between 2011 and 2014, £405 million for mostly tide and wind energy projects, £250 million for low-carbon businesses, and £45 million for micro-renewables.

Of course, there is a good argument that this isn’t enough and it’s hard not to notice the way that these numbers are dwarfed by things such as defense R&D spending. But when it comes to budgets nobody is ever entirely happy so I am not going to complain here about the actual spending.

I am going to complain about one notable omission in the Budget and surprisingly this omission does not cost anything. Darling failed to provide any coherent justification for spending money on climate change at all.

This seems a very silly thing to do given that, as I showed in my last blog, it is very difficult to argue a position on climate change without understanding exactly why and how it matters. It seems to me that the spending on renewables would be much easier to justify if their connection to their climate consequences were noted. More importantly, a clear explanation of why climate change matters and how much it matters would allow real debate over the questions about how much money is enough. Without this, it seems, we all go home unhappy.