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Boris Johnson announces ten-point plan for Green Industrial Revolution in multi billion pound package

Written by Latifa Yedroudj on Thursday, 19 November 2020. Posted in Politics, Analysis

The £12 billion package will address changes to transport, nature, clean energy and bring in new technologies for a greener future

Boris Johnson announces ten-point plan for Green Industrial Revolution in multi billion pound package

The £12 billion package will address changes to transport, nature, clean energy and bring in new technologies for a greener future 

As Britain spirals its way through a worldwide pandemic, the government has taken the liberty to address the subject of climate change in a landmark announcement. Today, Boris Johnson has set out an ambitious ten-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution which will create 250,000 jobs in Britain. In a speech today, Boris Johnson pledged to make London “the global centre of green finance”, as he announced plans to make the UK become carbon neutral by 2050. 

The £12 billion plan covers clean energy, transport, nature and new technologies. This will include quadrupling wind generation to 40 GW by 2030 (enough for every home in the UK), generating 5 GW of low-carbon energy from hydrogen for the industry by 2030, supporting nuclear energy generation, accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 and investing in infrastructure to support electric vehicles. The government also plans to pump an extra £200 million in carbon capture initiatives and £1 billion in funds next year to insulate homes and public buildings, using the existing green homes grant and public sector decarbonisation scheme. Under the plan, the government aims to plant 30,000 hectares of trees every year as part of conservation efforts, and pump £525 million towards nuclear power based on “the next generation of small and advances reactors”. The government plans to make the City of London the global centre of green finance through the use of cutting-edge technologies. 

The Green Industrial Revolution has garnered questions from sceptics about the scale of funding, and the planned expansion of nuclear and hydrogen power, with the Labour Party insisting it was “a pale imitation” of the green stimulus package needed. Navigating through the coronavirus pandemic has instantly become the main priority for businesses, forcing firms to decrease their focus on environmental sustainability. With the new green revolution, SMEs can now welcome the positive news for a greener future. 

“The pandemic has led to many businesses having to make difficult decisions and putting environmental priorities on hold,” Severine Trouillet, Director, Global Affairs, EuroNorth said. “Recent research from Dassault Systèmes conducted with analyst firm Tech-Clarity found that Covid-19 has caused 38% of organisations globally to decrease attention on environmental sustainability, whilst 18% have put it on hold completely early in the crisis. For this reason, we can only welcome positive news about the Government’s plans to recreate a ‘Green Industrial Revolution for 250,000 jobs,’ in the UK. 

“This new decision is a first step that will help turn the UK into a sustainability champion, enable companies, large and small, to create new services that bring new business avenues while benefiting the public and the planet, and provide a blueprint for the rest of the world,” he added. “It’s now time for the industry to assess the next steps and deliver on this vision. And embrace technology such as virtual twins as an enabler and catalyst.” 

Some business leaders have urged the government to support firms during the move towards a net-zero economy by providing them with funding and access to credit, allowing them adapt to new ways of environmentally sustainable business.

“The government’s plan shows that it is serious about a transition to a new economy, with some concrete commitments announced to accelerate the move towards a net-zero carbon economy by 2050,” Douglas Grant, Director of Conister, said. “There are significant opportunities for the SME sector to capitalise on this transition – and while government funding will be important, access to credit will be critical for entrepreneurs and businesses to take advantage of these new opportunities as well as to help them adapt and change their business models. The specialist lender segment will be critical to providing that support alongside government funding. We are already seeing signs of the SME segment pivoting towards the green economy, with Covid-19 serving as an accelerator.” 

Steve Malkin, CEO and founder of The Planet Mark, insisted the ten-point green plan should be made accessible to all businesses in the industry with a clear blue print on training, initiatives and schemes to support firms during the transition, but believes it is a “step in the right direction” for the country. “Critics have commented that the funding may be low but at least it is a step in the right direction, and we are hopeful this will encourage more funding from both the private and public sectors,” Mr Malkin said. “New jobs in the 'green' sector are welcomed too but we also need to make the industry accessible to everyone across a wide spectrum of society. 

“Training will be essential to facilitate this but it's not clear what the government's plans for support are yet. We welcome many of the initiatives proposed such as carbon capture and storage clusters, and the Public Sector Decarbonisation schemes, plus policies to accelerate private sector investment in the transition to net-zero. But we’d like to see these rapidly accelerate in development during 2021. 

“We encourage all of our members across The Planet Mark community to see what roles they can play at business or industry level in supporting the proposed Net Zero Taskforce of business leaders as the catalyst to green recovery and to put the UK on target to meet its net-zero goal. We eagerly await the publication of the Energy White Paper and hope this will be speedy in delivery with immediately actionable plans. Ambitious and urgent action is needed across all areas, as we are fast approaching the end of the first year in the Decade of Action. Action is needed urgently to reach the targets agreed to protect all our futures across the planet. This is an incredible journey for us all to be on together.” 

The Green Industrial Revolution will allow SMEs to look ahead at a more prosperous and greener future as firms await further announcements on how the plan will shape an environmentally sustainable way of business.

About the Author

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj has joined the Elite team to fully immerse herself in the business side of journalism, a strong passion of hers cultivated from young having co-run her mother's start up business since she was 18. Her interests lie in a wide range of subjects, including start ups, business, travel, and anything entrepreneurial she can get her hands on. She has worked for some of the biggest names in journalism including The Guardian and The Mirror. Follow her on @latifayed on Twitter for her latest journo rants.

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