Covering clean energy, transport, nature, and innovative technologies, the Prime Minister’s blueprint will allow the UK to push ahead with its net-zero targets, particularly in the run-up to the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow in 2021.
The plan will mobilise £12 billion (€13.4 billion) of government investment and create up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK, and encourage more than three times as much private sector investment by 2030.
At the centre of the blueprint are the UK’s ‘industrial heartlands’, including the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands, Scotland, and Wales, which will drive forward the green industrial revolution.
The 10-point plan is focused on the following elements:
- Offshore wind: Producing enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling how much the UK produces to 40 GW by 2030, supporting up to 60,000 jobs
- Hydrogen: Working with industry aiming to generate 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power, and homes, and aiming to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade
- Nuclear: Advancing 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
- Electric vehicles (EVs): Backing the UK’s ‘world-leading’ car manufacturing bases in the West Midlands, North East, and North Wales to accelerate the transition to EVs, and transforming the national infrastructure to better support EVs
- 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 difficult-to-decarbonise industries to become greener through research projects for zero-emission planes and ships
- Homes and public buildings: Making homes, schools, and hospitals greener, warmer, more energy-efficient, while creating 50,000 jobs by 2030, and a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028
- Carbon capture: Becoming a world-leader in technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10 MT of CO2 by 2030, equivalent to all emissions in the industrial Humber
- Nature: Protecting and restoring the UK’s natural environment, planting 30,000 hectares of trees per year, while creating and retaining thousands of jobs
- Innovation and finance: Developing the cutting-edge technologies needed to reach these new energy ambitions and make the City of London the global centre of green finance.
To deliver on six points of the plan, the Prime Minister has announced new investments, including an extra £200 million (€223 million) to create two new carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s, with another two set to be created by 2030. This increased the total invested to £1 billion (€1.11 billion), helping to support 50,000 jobs.
Ged Barlow, executive director of Net Zero North West, an industry-led collaboration to drive investment into the net-zero economy and post-COVID-19 green recovery, said: “There has been a lot of talk about net-zero, but very little clarity on how, as a country, we get there.
“We welcome the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan, but now need to see the detail of the policy that sits beneath it.
“We have the technology to deliver on net-zero but need a joined-up and long-term policy framework to underpin investment.
“The North West has an unrivalled and diverse number of projects already happening, from hydrogen to CCUS, to tidal power and nuclear, which will deliver industrial decarbonisation and protect and grow the many manufacturing jobs that have made this region thrive.
“We have the opportunity to world leaders in clean growth and drive the post-COVID-19 recovery. The time is now and in the North West, we’re primed and ready with the skills to deliver our share of the 250,000 green jobs promised.”
Frank Gordon, head of policy at the Renewable Energy Association (REA), said: “This is a major day for the building of green industries in the UK.
“The electric vehicle charging infrastructure stands ready to roll-out enough charge points to meet demand, so long as a supportive regulatory regime is in place.
“Renewable transport fuels will play a critical and complementary role to this policy and will be needed in greater volumes to ensure that we maximise emissions reductions from the millions of petrol and diesel cars and vans already on our roads, not just from new ones.
“While we welcome the extension of the Green Homes Grant, we also believe it should be extended to cover more technologies such as energy storage and thermal batteries.
“Additionally, it is great to see the role of organics recognised in protecting and restoring the natural environment.”