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With the UK due to host the COP 26 Climate Summit in November 2021, the UK Government is eager to demonstrate its credentials as a global ‘green’ leader.
In an effort to seize the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to ‘level up’ prosperity across the UK, the Prime Minister announced on 18th November an ambitious 10-point plan billed as the Green Industrial Revolution Plan.
More broadly, this plan should be viewed in the context of the Government’s blueprint for delivering on the UK’s domestic legal commitment to be a net zero economy by 2050. At the centre of this blueprint are the UK’s industrial heartlands, including the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, West Midlands, Scotland and Wales.
The £12bn plan will support up to 250,000 green jobs, with the Government aiming to secure three times as much investment from the private sector by 2030.
Green groups have since been quick to respond with the majority welcoming the plan as a good starting point, providing much-needed certainty for sectors that the net-zero transition is well underway. Conversely however, some criticism has arisen in regard to the need for the ambitious legislative framework to be turned into an actionable roadmap for sectors to enact tangible environmental change.
The Prime Minister’s ten points are:
1. Offshore wind to reach 40GW installed by 2030, quadruple the current level previously announced.
2. Hydrogen: reach 5GW of low-carbon production capacity by 2030. By 2023, blended gas containing 20 per cent hydrogen could be commonplace.
3. Nuclear: £525m pledged for large and small nuclear plants, of which £310m is new.
4. Electric vehicles: End the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 — 10 years ahead of previous plan. Some hybrid vehicles still allowed.
5.Public transport: Spend £5bn on cycling, walking and buses previously announced.
6. Jet zero and greener maritime: support for research projects for zero-emission planes and ships.
7. Homes and public buildings: target to install 600,000 heat pumps annually by 2028 in homes, schools and hospitals.
8. Carbon capture: remove 10m tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030, with £200m in new commitments on top of existing £800m pledge.
9. Nature: plant 30,000 hectares of trees each year previously announced.
10. Innovation and finance: make the City of London the global centre of green finance previously announced.