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The Budget

The Chancellor’s green “magic money tree”

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No Tory government “should look this chirpy” with the money worries it is facing, says Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun. But Rishi Sunak “resembled Eric Morecambe singing ‘Bring me sunshine’” as he sold Britain’s bright green future on Sunday’s TV shows. The Chancellor reckons wind, solar and electric car batteries will effectively give us a green “magic money tree” as prices drop. Meanwhile, boosterish Boris thinks “the world could soon be powered by sunshine from Australia, Africa and India”. The market, he says, is going green.

The funny thing is that the smart money echoes this optimism. An Oxford University team estimates that green technology will boost the global economy by £10-£20 trillion over the next 25 years. It cites the plummeting cost of solar technology, down by 15 % a year since the mid-1990s. Many analysts, including those at the International Energy Agency, think we’re at the beginning of the end of the oil era – that the “petrochemical dinosaur” will soon face extinction. This “new global energy economy” could take the spoils away from a few unseemly petrostates – Saudi Arabia, Russia and the rest – and give them to places that invest in the renewables revolution. If all goes well, this green rush should also deliver a “mind-boggling boost to the world’s poorest”. So maybe Rishi’s right. Maybe “everyone’s a winner”.