So, was it green enough for you?
Was the budget's support for green businesses "timid" and "inadequate", as Adrian Wilkes of the Environmental Industries Commission argued, or was it, as Solar Century's Jeremy Leggett observed, a pretty good deal given the context of significant tightening elsewhere in the budget?
The answer, as is so often the case, contains both points of view.
The sad reality of the climate crisis is that we are already locked in to pretty dangerous levels of global warming over the next few decades. The most sensible course of action from a purely climatic perspective is to turn everything off and stop emitting greenhouse gases right now. Consequently, governments and businesses will never be able to secure unconditional praise from some green groups - the need to decarbonise the economy is so urgent means that whatever they do they could, and some will argue should, do much more.
Even measured against more pragmatic goals of cutting carbon emissions 34 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050, the budget is a big disappointment.
Lord Stern has said that at least a fifth of countries' recovery packages should be earmarked for environmental spending, but even with the additional £1.4bn in funding announced in the budget yesterday the UK still fails this test. As Wilkes observes, other countries such as the USA and South Korea are investing far greater sums in clean tech and are threatening to leave the UK at a competitive disadvantage as new low carbon industries emerge.
Ministers claim time and time again that the UK has a leadership position in sectors such as offshore wind and CCS, but despite timely boosts for both technologies yesterday we still import all our offshore wind turbines and have no idea where our first CCS demonstration plant will be built. Other countries are forging ahead and there is a real chance that the UK will look back in ten years time and ask why the billions of pounds invested in renewable energy has been sunk into the pockets of European and US firms.
The commitments to deliver three quarters of a billion pounds for emerging technologies, over £400m each for energy efficiency and green manufacturing, £525m for offshore wind, £4bn from the European Investment Bank, and fresh funding for CCS, look impressive. But in a world where a single CCS demonstration project will cost £1bn and experts reckon we need £37bn to upgrade the grid, this new money is not going to stretch very far.
Moreover, new investment for clean technologies is undermined by the government's refusal to call an end to its love affair with carbon intensive industries. Money for green technologies is all well and good, but the attempt to pass off the £300m scrappage scheme for the car industry as an environmental initiative is simply cringe-worthy. It is a bail out pure and simple and the carbon savings will be somewhere between negligible and non existent.
And yet, despite its myriad failings, I'd argue that the environmental commentators lining up to knock the budget should also accept that there are a fair few positives to be found.
The green spending commitments may be insufficient, but given the woeful state of public finances they are still far greater than expected.
There are sweeping cuts (sorry, efficiency savings) on the horizon for large sections of the public sector, and as such it is encouraging that the Chancellor has ring fenced clean tech, health and education as a sheltered triumvirate, protected from the cost cutters. It is a case of being grateful for small mercies, but the fact that green businesses managed to wring any new money out of the Treasury in the current climate provides more evidence of the government's commitment to the sector than a hundred ministerial speeches on "green collar jobs" and "industries of the future".
The focus of the spending is also encouraging. The £45m earmarked for onsite renewable technologies through the Low Carbon Building Programme is hardly an earth shattering sum, but it shows that the government listened (albeit belatedly) to the industry's concerns about a funding gap and acted appropriately. Equally, the increased subsidy for offshore wind farms through the Renewables Obligation and new financing from the European Investment Bank, reveal that the government accepted the concerns of the wind energy sector and moved to avoid a potential crisis.
The government faced calls from thousands of vested interests in the run up to the budget and it is encouraging that the renewables industry appears to have the ear of at least some of Whitehall's power brokers.
Finally, and most importantly, the combination of the fiscal and carbon budget once again serve to hammer home the direction of travel for the UK's climate change strategy.
We may have to wait until the summer to find out exactly how the government plans to meet its target of a 34 per cent cut in emissions by 2020, but we know that the target is legally binding and will be used to inform all future policy and regulations, just as we know it could well be tightened further.
Equally, we know from the increase in the subsidy mechanism for offshore wind and the new proposal to support CCS plants through a feed in tariff that energy bills will inevitably continue their upward trend over the next decade. Just as we know that the planned increase in landfill tax will make recycling and waste-to-energy plants more financially attractive.
All of this means that firms are once again left in no doubt that efforts to enhance energy efficiency, tackle waste and curb carbon emissions will deliver long term returns, and make as much sense from a financial and risk mitigation perspective as they do from a purely environmental outlook.
Yes, it would be great to have seen plans for high speed rail and a commitment to ditch the third runway at Heathrow. Yes, it would have been nice to hear the government was willing to do something about the low price of carbon and limited availability of credit for green projects. And yes, it would have been fantastic to have seen a hand out to the auto industry replaced by a genuine green vehicle incentive scheme.
But all in all, this budget was greener than expected and proved once again that it is environmentally sustainable businesses that will prosper the most when the recovery eventually materialises.
UK digital grid flexibility specialist secures approval from Ofgem to compete in Balancing Mechanism Market alongside Big Six and major power plants
UK arm of professional services giant joins Ball Corporation as latest additions to the global emission reduction initiative
UN's agriculture chief warns of hunger danger and climate change struggles unless work is undertaken to boost soil health around the world
Tesla chief Elon Musk also reveals he has lined up Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisers for the potential move