Johnson sets out 10-point plan for ‘green revolution’

Prime minister Boris Johnson

The plan involves £12bn of public spending over the coming years in areas from energy generation to building retrofits.

The 10 points are:

Offshore wind: Quadrupling production capacity to 40GW by 2030, or enough to power every home.

Hydrogen: Up to £500m has been allocated, including for trialling homes using hydrogen for heating and cooking, starting with a Hydrogen Neighbourhood in 2023, moving to a Hydrogen Village by 2025, with an aim for a Hydrogen Town – equivalent to tens of thousands of homes – before the end of the decade. Of this funding, £240m will go into new hydrogen production facilities.

Nuclear: There will be £525m to help develop large and smaller-scale nuclear plants, and research and develop new advanced modular reactors.

Electric vehicles:  The UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, 10years earlier than planned. Some £1.3 billion will be spent on accelerating the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles. No date has been set yet for phasing out new diesel HGVs but a consultation process is planned.

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

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

Homes and public buildings: Improving the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals, with a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.

Carbon capture: An extra £200m of new funding to create two carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s, with another two set to be created by 2030, with a target to remove 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030.

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Nature: Planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year.

Innovation and finance: “make the City of London the global centre of green finance”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven’t lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country. My Ten Point Plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards net zero by 2050.”

Hannah Vickers, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy & Engineering (ACE), said:  “This 10-point plan is recognition that in order to meet society’s Net Zero aspirations, we need tangible action. We can only ‘build back better’ from Covid-19 if our growth is cleaner and greener.

“Proposals to turn London into a green financial centre are both welcome and necessary to supporting Net Zero ambitions, but giving local government the resilience and confidence to make carbon free investments is arguably more important.

“The positive announcements on carbon capture/storage, hydrogen, nuclear, and offshore wind are areas we championed in our comprehensive spending review representation. However, doing all this in parallel, and at the same time as decarbonising our existing building stock, remains a huge challenge and we need to see the rapid implementation of these plans.”

Adam Strudwick, principal at architect Perkins&Will, said: “While the government’s plans for a green industrial revolution are welcome, if we want to reach the goal of being net-zero by 2050, the UK must also ensure there is a green interior revolution in the spaces where we all work, live and shop. The built environment is responsible for 40% of UK carbon emissions; clearly, that needs to change.

“Alongside delivering net-zero new homes and buildings, updating the insides of existing offices, shops and hotels will be just as vital to reaching the UK’s 2050 net-zero targets.

“It also provides a valuable opportunity for the government to educate industries on the definition of ‘net-zero’; encouraging a focus on both Operational and Embodied carbon will be vital. The government should recognise that innovative design can play a fundamental role in significantly reducing a building’s environmental footprint and creating places that are truly energy efficient from cradle to grave.

“Having committed to net-zero architecture last year and recently pledging an industry-leading net-zero interiors plan, we welcome the government’s £1 billion investment into making existing homes and public buildings more efficient. However, there needs to be an incentive for large multinational firms and tech companies, who are buying the bulk of existing real estate stock, to retrofit buildings from the inside out”

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