A 10 point government plan to go carbon neutral by 2050 includes the creation of a quarter of a million new jobs.
The £4 billion plan is to create green jobs and includes cash to equip workers with ‘green skills’.
The green industrial revolution will be concentrated on areas of the country which have suffered industrial decline over the years with technology designed to capture and store carbon produced in industrial processes receiving ‘substantial’ government investment.
The ambitious £18 billion 10 point plan includes:
- A ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel driven vehicles by 2030, with grants for electric cars, and funding for charge points. The sale of some hybrid vehicles will continue until 2035.
- A previously announced pledge to quadruple offshore wind power by 2030, generating enough energy to power every UK home.
- The boosting of hydrogen production, with the promise of a town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade.
- Investment of £525m towards new nuclear power, based on the next generation of ‘small and advanced reactors’ sited across the country.
- £1bn in the next 12 months to insulate homes and public buildings, using the existing green homes grant and public sector decarbonisation scheme.
- An extra £200m invested in carbon capture initiatives.
- Support for greener energies in the aviation and maritime sectors.
- 30,000 hectares of trees planted every year as part of nature conservation efforts.
- Promotion of public transport, cycling and walking
- A pledge to make London “the global centre of green finance”.
Reaction to the plan has been mixed.
Greenpeace hailed it as a notable step forward in tackling the climate emergency, saying: “This landmark announcement signals the end of the road for polluting cars and vans and a historic turning point on climate action.”
But it added: “It’s a shame the prime minister remains fixated on other speculative solutions, such as nuclear and hydrogen from fossil fuels, that will not be taking us to zero emissions anytime soon, if ever.”
Director general of the National Trust, Hilary McGrady, said the plan was ‘a fantastic platform’ ahead of the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow next year, but added: “Technology alone can’t cut emissions and restore nature.
The government will need to follow this up with an ambitious pledge to cut emissions by 2030 in line with the Paris agreement.”
National Grid executive director Nicola Shaw said: “The prime minister has set out great ambition for the net zero transition including commitments on offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.
“We also welcome the earlier ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles and the support for the rollout of electric vehicles which will help improve the country’s air quality.
“Now, industry and government must work together to turn this ambition into reality, with transformational investments to deliver real change, which will create jobs in every part of the country.”