Government Cuts Don’t Spell the End for Green Initiatives

  • Published on March 31st, 2015

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Since the global economic crash and subsequent slow recovery millions of cuts have been made by governments around the world, often to public sector services. In such difficult times it would come as no surprise for environmental projects to receive the same treatment but that hasn’t always been the case.

In fact many governments still offer funding for various green projects and others have introduced new initiatives despite common austerity measures. This is hopefully proof that world leaders are beginning to realise the importance of environmental issues and are willing to take action through green initiatives.

The Green Deal

The Green Deal was officially launched in the UK by the government in January 2013 to help homes and businesses reduce energy consumption. The scheme is unique in that customers pay for the improvements made to their home or business through savings on their energy bills after they have been installed. Interest is charged but at a fixed rate and the charges are attached to the property, not the customer.

The deal appeals to homeowners as it is an affordable way to make their home more energy efficient and the government are funding such an initiative to help the UK meet its carbon reduction and renewable energy targets. The process is fairly simple with an assessor such as Mark Group inspecting the property for potential improvements, a Green Deal Plan for the financial side being agreed with a provider, improvements installed and then repayments made.

EPA

As one of the world’s largest superpowers the importance of the USA acting on climate change cannot be underestimated. While there is no equivalent of the Green Deal in the USA, under the Obama administration the Environmental Protection Agency has already drawn up plans such as one to cut power plant carbon emissions by 30% by 2030.

They also still offer a range of environmental funding opportunities too. Some have specific criteria with closing dates that must be adhered to for homes and business, which can be found on the EPA website. From research grants to funding for redevelopment where contamination is an issue for example, the government is no longer ignoring such an important issue.

Further Funding Sources

The European Commission also provide funding for environmental projects through the LIFE fund and the CIP-EIP. This is helpful for those in EU countries where the government are not yet focusing on the environment as much.

While the introduction of the Green Deal has been positive in the UK, reducing the public deficit did mean a few national environment agencies now operate on a shoestring budget or have gone altogether. There are other options for funding though, through the Technology Strategy Board and Energy Technologies Institute.

Photo courtesy of the Flickr Creative Commons.

This post was generously sponsored by WMG.

About the Author

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on

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