British inventors and developers of low carbon energy technology will receive up to seventy five million pounds ($108.8m) in public money over the next three years to help them bring their products to market under a programme launched on Thursday by the Carbon Trust. Set up by the government to recycle some of the proceeds of the one billion pound a year climate change levy back to industry, the Carbon Trust says it will back green energy projects from research and development through to full commercialisation. Tom Delay, the trust director, said that the sum was small in the face of the total investment required in the UK to tackle global warming, but insisted “we can act as a catalyst and demonstration to others” of commercial success stories in energy efficiency and low carbon energy. The Carbon Trust argues that the UK can reduce carbon far beyond its Kyoto protocol climate change targets without building controversial new nuclear plants. In a statement endorsing the trust's new programme, Tony Blair said it would provide “flexible and responsive” incentives. Aside from benefiting the environment, the government and the Carbon Trust see competitive advantage for companies taking the lead towards energy efficiency and carbon reduction. Apart from funding the Carbon Trust, the bulk of climate change levey proceeds go to reducing national insurance. But the effect of that was wiped out by the increase in NI contributions in last month's Budget. But the Budget also exempted producers of energy from biomass such as farm waste from the levy.
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