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Government announces ten-point plan for Green Industrial Revolution

Photo by Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash

18 November 2020

The Prime Minister has announced his ten-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, covering clean energy, transport, nature, and innovative technologies, allowing the UK to eradicate its contribution to climate change by 2050. It is an important step in the run up to COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next year, and part of Johnson’s broader ‘levelling up’ policy.

Key Points

• New ambitious ten-point plan to create and support 250,000 jobs across the UK.
• Blueprint built around the UK’s strengths and industrial heartlands (North East, Yorkshire, Humber, West Midlands, Scotland, and Wales) to level up and build back greener.
• £12bn of government investment to create these jobs and spur over three times as much private sector investment by 2030.

Prof Daniela Schmidt, Research Director, Faculty of Science, University of Bristol, said:

“It is positive to see that the government is working on climate actions, reversing some of the decisions against renewable and mitigation options taken over the last years. The government’s green plan addresses many technological solutions for a reduction of CO2 emissions. Technology alone will not be a solution. It will be fundamental to the success of these initiatives that these CO2 emission reductions and carbon capture initiatives will be assessed in their context so that they will not be causing large problems by themselves such as fast growing trees in monocultures, windfarms impacting marine environments or reduction of land for an ecological food production. We need to know what works where, when and how to invest these funds to achieve a meaningful reduction in emissions and ensure that the public is supporting these initiatives.

“Importantly, the government plans focus solely on mitigation of further climate change. They are ignoring that we have already committed to significant warming and need ambitious and effective adaptation to the impacts this warming will have.”

Prof Rich Pancost, Head of the School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, said:

“Carbon dioxide levels have now surpassed those of the past 3 million years, and we have reached those levels at rates nearly unprecedented in our planet's history. The impacts of the associated warming on climate and ecosystems are now impossible to ignore. The climate emergency is no longer a prediction but an ongoing reality. 

“Consequently, any action to transform our economy and end our carbon dependency is welcomed, especially action that is aligned with a wider job creation strategy. We have built our society on fossil fuels; their influence permeates every aspect of our lives. Given that, it is hard to gauge how far these new proposals will go in making a deep and genuine difference. In at least some cases, they appear more aspirational than bold. I welcome these new announcements but encourage the government to invest more and with greater urgency. And as we prepare to host COP26, we must create a roadmap with specific paths and targets to net zero carbon.”

The ten-point plan

1. Offshore wind: Produce enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling production to 40GW by 2030 and supporting up to 60,000 jobs.
2. Hydrogen: Working with industry aiming to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power, and homes. Aim to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade.
3. Nuclear: Advance nuclear as a clean energy source, across large scale nuclear and developing the next generation of small and advanced reactors, which could support 10,000 jobs.
4. Electric vehicles: Back car manufacturing bases including in the West Midlands, North East, and North Wales to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles and transform national infrastructure to better support electric vehicles.
5. Public transport: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel and invest in zero-emission public transport of the future.
6. Jet Zero and greener maritime: Supporting difficult-to-decarbonise industries to become greener through research projects for zero-emission planes and ships.
7. Homes and public buildings: Make our homes, schools, and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient, whilst creating 50,000 jobs by 2030, and a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
8. Carbon capture: Becoming a world-leader in technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030, equivalent to all emissions of the industrial Humber today.
9. Nature: Protect and restore our natural environment, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year, whilst creating and retaining thousands of jobs.
10. Innovation and finance: Develop cutting-edge technologies needed to reach these new energy ambitions and make the City of London the global centre of green finance.

Investment Announcements

New investment has also been announced including:
• 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.
• Up to £500m for trialling hydrogen homes, villages, and towns, with £240m to new hydrogen production facilities.
• £525m investment in nuclear.
• £1.3bn to accelerate rollout of electric vehicle charge points, £528m in grants for buying low emission vehicles and nearly £500m on the development of mass-scale electric vehicle battery production.
• £1bn into making new and existing homes more efficient including the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme and the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. £20m for a competition to develop clean maritime technology.

Further plans

This ten-point plan follows recent announcements on clean wind energy, and landscapes and national parks.

UK the world leader in clean wind energy:

• £160 million to upgrade ports and infrastructure to increase offshore wind capacity.
• Confirming offshore wind will produce enough electricity to power every home in the country by 2030.
• Creating a new target for floating offshore wind to deliver 1GW of energy by 2030.
• Providing enough clean, low cost energy to power up to 10 million homes.

Greater protections for England’s iconic landscapes and the creation of new national parks:

• New national parks and greater protections for England’s iconic landscapes.
• £40 million additional investment into the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund will go towards funding environmental charities and partners across England to restore the natural environment and address biodiversity loss and climate change.
• 10 “Landscape Recovery” projects will also be launched across England over the next four years to restore peatlands, woodlands and create wilder landscapes

New Appointments

Andrew Griffith MP (Con, Arundel and South Downs) has been appointed the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion to support the country’s business community to make credible plans to net zero by 2050 or earlier and showcase the UK’s place as a global leader in tackling climate change.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP (Con, Berwick-upon-Tweed) has been appointed UK’s International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency, to drive forward global ambition and action to support countries on the frontline of climate change to adapt to its impacts and build resilience.

Further information

If you would like any further informaion on the plan, or potential opportunities for policy engagement, contact us at policy-bris@bristol.ac.uk

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