It’s deja vu all over again

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There was much rejoicing at the Carbon Capture & Storage Association at the announcement in the latest Budget that the Government would be making £800 million available over the next five years.

Its director, one Luke Warren, was full of warm congratulations to the Chancellor for recognising at last the potential of such technologies.

I do hope the starry-eyed Mr Warren didn’t chance upon an interview broadcast by ITV on Budget night with Alistair Darling. He was you may recall the Chancellor of the Exchequer, all those years ago under Gordon Brown. And he too commended Mr Sunak for announcing that “the time has come for CCS.”  And said he agreed with him. 

But then Mr Darling went on to point out that “I announced £1 billion for a competition to stimulate CCS 15 years. But it still hasn’t happened. Because no one has yet managed to do it.”

Not only was Mr Darling’s recollection spot on, but his announcement was also greeted with warm congratulations, for recognising at last the potential of such technologies, by the then boss of the Carbon Capture & Storage Association. As Mr Darling wryly observes now, “The easiest thing to do is to announce these things. The really difficult bit is to deliver them.”