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Budget 2011: going greener

The Government has claimed it wishes to be the greenest ever.

To add some credentials to the claim, the Chancellor announced in the Budget that the Green Investment Bank will have an initial capitalisation of £3 billion, not the £1 billion previously assigned it, and will launch a year early in 2012/13.

The Government hopes that the bank will eventually stimulate up to £18 billion of investment in the UK's green infrastructure and industries. The plan is for the bank to be able to borrow and raise capital from 2015/16.

The Government intends that green taxes will occupy an increasingly greater proportion of the overall tax take.

The climate change levy discount on electricity for participants in climate change agreements is to rise from 65 per cent to 80 per cent in April 2013. The higher level of discount is intended to give more companies an incentive to join climate change agreements and to reduce their carbon emissions.

To promote greener cars, the Government is to freeze company car tax for cars emitting less than 95g CO2 per kilometre as from April 2013. However, from the same date, the tax on company cars with emissions between 95g/km and 219g/km will rise by 1 per cent.