Climate spending: invisible to the naked eye

Information design extraordinaire David McCandless has produced a new bubble graphic looking at Government spending on much-maligned quangos. As with the Guardian”s colourful maps of total Government spending, you”ll have to squint to find the bits dedicated to tackling climate change.

In fact, McCandless” beautiful infographic shows only two agencies dedicated to cutting emissions – the Carbon Trust and the Energy Savings Trust. That”s because most of DECC”s agencies receive only tiny amounts of funding – and bodies with budgets less than £25m are excluded from the diagram. Much online casino climate spending is, in McCandless” diagram, invisible to the naked eye.

The smallness of public spending on climate change hasn”t stopped recent decisions to axe a whole range of green bodies – like the Sustainable Development Commission, Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, and Renewables Advisory Board – all of whose budgets are too small to be seen on McCandless” infographic.

Look, the heart of the issue is this: the UK is not yet spending nearly enough on decarbonisation to meet our 2020 emissions targets. Yet so far all debate about public expenditure has focused on penny-pinching on a much shorter term time horizon – not 2020 but October 20th. It”s time to get some perspective and for the Government to outline how it will spend money to achieve its longer-term objectives.

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