Government promises to unleash net zero investment blitz with 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution

New stimulus plan to jumpstart green recovery

Lauren Mason

Carbon capture, hydrogen, nuclear, electric vehicles (EVs) and renewables all set to benefit from £12bn government stimulus plan, but critics warn funding falls well short of the level required to trigger a green recovery.

"Now is the time to plan for a green recovery with high-skilled jobs that give people the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to make the country cleaner, greener and more beautiful," he wrote.

"Imagine Britain when a Green Industrial Revolution has helped to level up the country. You cook breakfast using hydrogen power before getting in your electric car, having charged it overnight from batteries made in the Midlands.

"Around you the air is cleaner; trucks, trains, ships and planes run on hydrogen or synthetic fuel."

He also promised that the government would "provide clear timetables for the clean energy we will procure, details of the regulations we will change, and the carbon prices that we will put on emissions".

And he stressed that the 10 Point Plan could prove "a global template for delivering net zero emissions in ways that create jobs and preserve our lifestyles", as the government continues to step up calls for other countries to strengthen their decarbonisation plans ahead of next year's COP26 Summit.

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The breadth of the ten-point plan was warmly received by green groups and businesses, as was the promise to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel car sales.

Chris Stark, CEO of the Climate Change Committee, said that if backed by a detailed roadmap towards net zero, the plan would "transform Britain for the better" and "raise the UK's credibility ahead of the pivotal COP26 climate summit next year".

"This is just the tonic as we look to 2021," he added.

His comments were echoed by Eliot Whittington, director of policy at CISL and director of The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, who hailed the plan as "a good step forward for climate action and the UK economy".

"Such a broad and all-encompassing set of plans and actions to accelerate climate action and build a sustainable competitive, zero carbon economy is almost unprecedented," he said.

"The commitment to mobilise £12bn of investment and create 250,000 green jobs will help not only to rebuild the UK economy at a critical time, but also to accelerate UK emissions reduction over the coming decade.

"This aligns with action by leading UK businesses, who are setting out their own interim targets and plans to significantly reduce their emissions over the coming decade."

However, concerns were also immediately raised about the scale of funding announcement from the government, with unfavourable comparisons drawn to France and Germany which have this year earmarked €30bn and €50bn, respectively, for immediate investment in green projects as part of their Covid-19 recovery plans.

The government's announcement also comes ahead of a report on Wednesday from consultancy giant PwC that estimates the UK requires an additional £400bn of investment in infrastructure over the next decade to put it on a trajectory to meet its 2050 net zero target, which amounts to £40bn per year.

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