by Hayd Mohamed
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed his ‘10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’, on November 18th, 2020. This policy paper sets out one of his administration’s first acknowledgements of the climate crisis. This plan is to get the UK on an accelerated rate to net-zero emissions: this comes ahead of the COP 26 (26th United Nations Climate Change Conference) which the UK will host next year in Glasgow.
The 10 Point Plan is as follows :
- By 2030 the UK will quadruple their offshore wind capacity and aim to produce 40 GW of offshore wind
- The UK to be a global driver in the growth of low carbon hydrogen
- Advancements in nuclear power which produces low carbon power
- Banning of new petrol and diesel cars and allowing the sale of non carbon-emitting hybrids, this comes 10 years earlier than planned
- £9.2 billion investment in rail and bus services, greater development of segregated cycle lane and the first fully zero-emission city centre
- New technology and development centred around zero-emission ships and aviation
- Greener Buildings with the implementation of the public sector decarbonisation scheme
- A £1 billion investment into Carbon capture initiatives, with intent to capture 10 Mt of carbon dioxide per year
- Safeguarding of natural landscapes through the creation of new National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and more green jobs as well as a £40 million addition to the Green Recovery Challenge Fund
- Green Finance and Innovation through increased dependence on more renewable heavy systems and commercialisation of fusion energy technology
These pledges should ensure that the UK is on track to achieving net-zero by 2050. Through the implementation of their targets, the Prime Minister claims that he hopes to encourage other nations to adopt similar targets to tackle the issue of climate change and make it a global effort .
However, there has been widespread criticism surrounding this announcement as some have argued that a shift from fossil fuels to hydrogen and nuclear energy ‘’will not be taking us to zero emissions anytime soon, if ever’’ – Rebecca Newsom, Head of UK’s politics at Greenpeace . Whilst these plans can be seen as the first steps in the right direction it can be argued that to meet the commitments made at the Paris Agreement in 2015, the UK must propose more ambitious and radical pledges to address the climate emergency which go far beyond this ‘10 Point Plan.’https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/936567/10_POINT_PLAN_BOOKLET.pdf  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/17/boris-johnson-announces-10-point-green-plan-with-250000-jobs  https://www.investmentweek.co.uk/news/4023565/government-promises-unleash-net-zero-investment-blitz-point-plan-green-industrial-revolution