Environmental groups and the renewables sector have broadly welcomed government plans to implement what it describes as a £12bn green industrial revolution, which could see a quadrupling of offshore wind power within a decade and the installation of 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
The government also plans to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, 10 years ahead of the previous schedule.
Announcing the 10-point plan, prime minister Boris Johnson said it would create up to 250,000 jobs, with much of the focus aimed at the north of England, Midlands, Scotland and Wales.
Greenpeace said the measures marked a notable step forward for tackling the climate emergency. But there are concerns over the scale of new funding and the planned expansion of nuclear and hydrogen power.
“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,” said Rebecca Newsom, Greenpeace UK’s head of politics.
Labour called the plan “deeply, deeply disappointing” in ambition, saying it would neither properly tackle the climate emergency nor the jobs crisis caused by coronavirus, and claiming that only £4bn of the funding was new.
The 10-point plan:
- 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.
- 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“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.
- 30,000 hectares of trees planted every year, as part of nature conservation efforts.
- Moves to promote public transport, cycling and walking.
- A pledge to make London “the global centre of green finance”.