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.

Similar studies in recent months have warned the UK faces a significant green infrastructure investment gap that has been further widened by the coronavirus crisis and the repeated delays to crucial policy documents such as the Energy White Paper and the National Infrastructure Strategy.

Labour's Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband said the funding announced today "falls well short of what is required", as he urged the government to bring forward £30bn of capital investment over the next 18 months towards to deliver a green recovery from the pandemic.

"The funding in this long-awaited announcement doesn't remotely meet the scale of what is needed to tackle the unemployment emergency and climate emergency we are facing, and pales in comparison to the tens of billions committed by France and Germany," he said.

"Only a fraction of the funding announced today is new. We don't need rebadged funding pots and reheated pledges, but an ambitious plan that meets the scale of the task we are facing and - crucially - creates jobs now."

Nick Mabey, CEO of climate change think tank E3G, argued that 10 point plan "delivers on green but not on the recovery", warning that while the targets for cars, offshore wind and heating are ambitious, the plan's focus on "short term or unclear funding support [means] investors will not be attracted to UK green industries".

The 10 Point Plan comes ahead of next week's Spending Review, which green businesses will be hoping delivers further commitments from the Treasury, while the long-awaited Energy White Paper is also expected towards the end of the month, potentially delivering much needed policy clarity for the UK's net zero drive as the government looks to unleash private investment.

Nick Molho, executive director of the Aldersgate Group, welcomed the PM's plan to align the UK's economic recovery with the net zero transition in order to create hundreds of thousands of green jobs, but highlighted a number of crucial gaps still outstanding in the government's green agenda.

"For example, the 10-point plan doesn't address the lack of regulatory drivers in buildings that is currently hampering private investment in energy efficiency and low carbon heat and it doesn't recognise the urgent need to set up a well-capitalised national investment bank to grow investment in complex low carbon technologies," he said.

"For the UK's domestic policy commitments to be effective, the government must also not lose sight of the fact that any future trade agreements must be fully supportive and consistent with the net zero target."

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