Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday his long-awaited plan for the UK’s ‘green industrial revolution’, outlining an ambitious 10-point strategy to shift away from carbon emissions and generate up to 250,000 jobs.
Boris Johnson has announced plans for the government’s self-styled green industrial revolution, bringing praise from environmental groups but also questions about the scale of new funding, and the planned expansion of nuclear and hydrogen power.
In a move aimed at retaking the initiative after a politically turbulent few weeks, the prime minister said the 10-point plan would create up to 250,000 jobs, with much of the focus aimed at the north of England, Midlands, Scotland and Wales.
One of the points is the previously trailed pledge to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, 10 years ahead of the previous schedule. Another existing promise is to quadruple the amount of offshore wind power capacity within a decade.
Greenpeace said the measures marked a notable step forward for 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.”
The programme is billed as costing £12bn, with Downing Street saying £8bn of this is new. However, Labour said it believed only £4bn was new spending.
The 10-point plan comprises:
A ban on combustion engine sales by 2030, with grants for electric cars, and funding for charge points. The sale of some hybrid cars and vans will continue until 2035.
A previously announced pledge to quadruple offshore wind power by 2030, to 40GW, enough to power every UK home.
Moves to boost 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”.
£1bn next year for funds 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, with £20m committed to the latter.
30,000 hectares of trees planted every year, as part of nature conservation efforts.
Moves to promote public transport, cycling and walking, although no new schemes were announced.
A pledge to make London “the global centre of green finance”.
While Johnson said the plan would create hundreds of thousands of jobs, while “making strides towards net zero by 2050”, Labour said it was “a pale imitation” of the green stimulus package needed.