Industrial strategy with £1bn funding to build on PM's 10 Point Plan announced

Wed 17 March 2021 View all news

The UK Government has announced a £1bn blueprint to deliver "the world's first low carbon industrial sector". The new industrial strategy aims to support schools, hospitals and industry in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging the growth of new low carbon technologies in the UK.

The strategy builds on the Prime Minister’s '10 Point Plan' published last year. The Government says that the measures will create and support 80,000 UK jobs over the next 30 years whilst cutting emissions by two-thirds over the next 15 years.

Over £1 billion has been allocated to help cut emissions from industry and public buildings like schools, hospitals and council buildings.

To kick-start the process, £171 million from the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge has been allocated to nine 'green tech' projects in Scotland, South Wales and North West, Humber and Teesside in England, to undertake engineering and design studies for the rollout of decarbonisation infrastructure, such as carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen.

To reduce carbon emissions from public buildings including hospitals, schools and council buildings, the Government says that £932 million has been directed to 429 projects across England. The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funds low carbon heating systems, such as heat pumps, and energy efficiency measures like insulation and LED lighting.

The government will also introduce new rules on measuring the energy and carbon performance of the UK’s largest commercial and industrial buildings, including office blocks and factories, in England and Wales. 

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "We were the first major economy to put into law our target to end our contribution to climate change, and today we’re taking steps to be the first major economy to have its own low carbon industrial sector...

"Ahead of COP26, the UK is showing the world how we can cut emissions, create jobs and unleash private investment and economic growth. Today’s strategy builds on this winning formula as we transition low carbon and renewable energy sources, while supporting the competitiveness of Britain’s industrial base."

Critics of the announcement said that much greater investment is needed to meet the scale of the challenge. They said that little if any of the money associated with the strategy is new and, latterly, have pointed to the abandonment of the the Green Homes Grant Scheme, for which £1.5bn had originally been earmarked, as evidence of the need to match rhetoric with practice.

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