Ten-point plan to a ‘green industrial revolution’

More energy-efficient homes, schools and hospitals form a key part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ten-point plan to create a “green industrial revolution.”

Apart from the headline-grabbing plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030, £1bn will be invested next year into making new and existing homes and public buildings more efficient, extending the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme by a year and making public sector buildings greener. In addition, a target has been set to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028. The government will bring forward, to 2023, the date by which new homes will need to be warmed without using gas heating.

Clean hydrogen will be blended into the natural gas supply to reduce overall emissions from gas, and the government wants a town to volunteer for a trial of 100 per cent hydrogen for heat, industry and cooking. The hydrogen - attracting a subsidy of up to £500m - will be produced in places such as the North East of England, partly by energy from offshore wind. 

The government wants to breathe new life into de-industrialised areas by teaming hydrogen production with the manufacture of wind turbines, and with four clusters of firms using carbon capture and storage. The government hopes that many of those jobs will be in northern England and in Wales, and that 60,000 will be in offshore wind.

The plan will mobilise £12bn of government investment to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK, and spur over three times as much private sector investment by 2030.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said: “When you put it in the context of the scale of the climate and nature emergencies that we face, and indeed the scale of the job emergencies that we face, then it's nowhere near ambitious enough, it's not urgent enough, it's not bold enough," she told the BBC.

Lord Deben, chairman, Climate Change Committee, commented: “Today, the Prime Minister has laid out his vision for a net-zero UK. I am delighted to see the breadth of the Prime Minister’s commitment. This must now be turned into a detailed road map – so we all know what’s coming down the track in the years ahead.

“Our homes, the way we travel, our industries, our land, and all of us individually have a role to play as we strive to lead the world in tackling climate change. The good news is that we can also reap the rewards – improved health, a stronger economy, a boost for UK jobs and the ability to tell our children and grandchildren that the UK acted in time.”

Jonathan Maxwell, CEO, Sustainable Development Capital Ltd, cautiuoned against neglecting energy efficiency in the commercial and industrial sectors. “Due to inefficiencies in generation and distribution more than half of the energy provided to buildings, which use 40 per cent of the world’s energy, can be lost before it reaches its end use. Projects that deliver onsite energy generation to commercial buildings or industrial processes, or the installation of energy efficiency equipment upgrades to a company’s estate, can improve efficiency levels to over 90 per cent. We strongly encourage the government to consider both residential and commercial energy solutions in its plan to achieve net zero.”

 

 

The Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan

• Offshore wind: Produce enough offshore wind to power every home in the UK, quadrupling how much it produces to 40GWby 2030, and supporting up to 60,000 jobs.

• Hydrogen: Have 5GW of "low carbon" hydrogen production capacity by 2030 - for industry, transport, power and homes - and develop the first town heated by the gas by the end of the decade.

• Nuclear: Pushing nuclear power as a clean energy source and including provision for a large nuclear plant, as well as for advanced small nuclear reactors, which could support 10,000 jobs.

• Electric vehicles: Phasing out sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles and investing in grants to help buy cars and charge point infrastructure.

• Public transport, cycling and walking: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel and investing in zero-emission public transport for the future.

• Jet zero and greener maritime: Supporting research projects for zero-emission planes and ships.

• Homes and public buildings: Making homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient, including a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.

• Carbon capture: Developing world-leading technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10m tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030 - equivalent to all emissions of the industrial Humber.

• Nature: Protecting and restoring the natural environment, with plans to include planting 30,000 hectares of trees a year.

• Innovation and finance: Developing cutting-edge technologies and making the City of London the global centre of green finance.

 

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