Wind turbines

UK Government unveils Net Zero Strategy

A landmark Net Zero Strategy setting out how the UK will secure 440,000 well-paid jobs and unlock £90bn in investment in 2030 on its path to ending its contribution to climate change by 2050 has been unveiled by the UK Government today.

Building on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, today’s UK Net Zero Strategy sets out a comprehensive economy-wide plan for how British businesses and consumers will be supported in making the transition to clean energy and green technology.

This includes lowering Britain’s reliance on fossil fuels by investing in sustainable clean energy, reducing the risk of high and volatile prices in the future and strengthening energy security.

The commitments made will unlock up to £90bn of private investment by 2030 and support 440,000 well-paid jobs in green industries in 2030.

The government said this will provide certainty to businesses to support the UK in gaining a competitive edge in the latest low carbon technologies, from heat pumps to electric vehicles, and in developing thriving green industries in industrial heartlands, from carbon capture to hydrogen, backed by new funding.

As part of the strategy, new investment announced today includes:

  • An extra £350m of up to £1bn commitment to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains and another £620m for targeted electric vehicle grants and infrastructure, particularly local on-street residential charge points, with plans to put thousands more zero emission cars and vans onto UK roads through a zero emission vehicle mandate.
     
  • Working to kick-start the commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from sustainable materials, such as everyday household waste, flue gases from industry, carbon captured from the atmosphere and excess electricity, which produce over 70% fewer carbon emissions than traditional jet fuel on a lifecycle basis. The government’s ambition is to enable the delivery of 10% SAF by 2030 and they will be supporting UK industry with £180m in funding to support the development of UK SAF plants.
     
  • £140m Industrial and Hydrogen Revenue Support scheme to accelerate industrial carbon capture and hydrogen, bridging the gap between industrial energy costs from gas and hydrogen and helping green hydrogen projects get off the ground. Two carbon capture clusters, Hynet Cluster in North West England and North Wales and the East Coast Cluster in Teesside and the Humber, will put industrial heartlands at the forefront of this technology in the 2020s and revitalise industries in the North Sea, backed by the government’s £1bn in support.
     
  • An extra £500m towards innovation projects to develop the green technologies of the future, bringing the total funding for net zero research and innovation to at least £1.5bn. This will support the most pioneering ideas and technologies to decarbonise homes, industries, land and power.
     
  • £3.9bn of new funding for decarbonising heat and buildings, including the new £450m three-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme, so homes and buildings are warmer, cheaper to heat and cleaner to run.
     
  • £124m boost to the Nature for Climate Fund, helping towards meeting commitments to restore approximately 280,000 hectares of peat in England by 2050 and treble woodland creation in England to meet commitments to create at least 30,000 hectares of woodland per year across the UK by the end of this Parliament.
     
  • £120m towards the development of nuclear projects through the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund. There remain a number of optimal sites, including the Wylfa site in Anglesey. Funding like this could support the path to decarbonising the UK’s electricity system fifteen years earlier from 2050 to 2035.

The policies and spending brought forward in the Net Zero Strategy mean that since the Ten Point Plan, £26bn worth of government capital investment for the green industrial revolution has been mobilised

More than £5.8bn of foreign investment in green projects has also been secured since the launch of the Ten Point Plan, along with at least 56,000 jobs in the UK’s clean industries.

As well as this, another 18 deals have been set out at the Global Investment Summit to support growth in vital sectors, such as wind and hydrogen energy, sustainable homes and carbon capture and storage.

Through energy efficiency measures, falling costs of renewables and more, the measures in the strategy also mean people’s energy bills will be lower by 2024 than if no action was taken, particularly as gas prices rise, the government said.

As the first major economy to commit in law to be net zero by 2050 and as hosts of the historic UN COP26 climate summit, the government said the UK is leading international efforts and setting the bar for countries around the world to follow.

The UK has hit every carbon budget to date and the government said that today’s Net Zero Strategy sets out clear policies and proposals for meeting the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, while keeping on track for carbon budget six, the ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), while setting out a vision for a decarbonised economy in 2050.

Commenting, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:

“The UK’s path to ending our contribution to climate change will be paved with well-paid jobs, billions in investment and thriving green industries, powering our green industrial revolution across the country.

“By moving first and taking bold action, we will build a defining competitive edge in electric vehicles, offshore wind, carbon capture technology and more, whilst supporting people and businesses along the way.

“With the major climate summit COP26 just around the corner, our strategy sets the example for other countries to build back greener too as we lead the charge towards global net zero.

Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng added:

“There is a global race to develop new green technology, kick-start new industries and attract private investment.

“The countries that capture the benefits of this global green industrial revolution will enjoy unrivalled growth and prosperity for decades to come and it’s our job to ensure the UK is fighting fit.

“Today’s plan will not only unlock billions of pounds of investment to boost the UK’s competitive advantage in green technologies, but will create thousands of jobs in new, future-proof industries, clearly demonstrating that going green and economic growth go hand in hand.”

Both the Net Zero and Heat and Building Strategies build on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan in November 2020, which laid the foundations for a green industrial revolution, kick-starting billions of pounds of investment in new and green industries to help level up the country.

To date, the UK has decarbonised faster than any other G7 country.

Published alongside these two strategies today is HM Treasury’s Net Zero Review, an analytical report which explores the key issues as the UK decarbonises.

It helps to build a picture of where opportunities could arise and the factors to be taken into account when designing decarbonisation policy.

The government said that while there are costs in reaching net zero, the cost of inaction is much higher.

The Net Zero Strategy will be submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as the UK’s second Long-Term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy under the Paris Agreement.

Watch PSE’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Virtual Event on demand here.

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