Last edited 16 Oct 2017

Clean Growth Strategy

On 12 October 2017, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) published a Clean Growth Strategy described as; ‘An ambitious strategy setting out how the UK is leading the world in cutting carbon emissions to combat climate change while driving economic growth’.

This fulfils the government’s commitment to demonstrate how it will deliver carbon reductions under the Climate Change Act, which sets legally binding targets and a series of five-year caps on greenhouse gas emissions up to 2050. The Strategy focuses on hitting the fifth carbon budget (2028 to 2032).

The government suggest UK carbon emissions have fallen faster and further than any other nation in the G7, down 42% since 1990. The Clean Growth Strategy sets out how the country can benefit from low carbon economic opportunities and meet targets to tackle climate change.

The Strategy sets out how more than £2.5 billion will be invested to support low carbon innovation from 2015 (even though the Strategy was published in 2017) to 2021, as part of the largest increase in public spending on science, research and innovation in more than three decades.

Measures set out in the Strategy include:

  • Up to £10 million for innovations that provide low carbon heat in domestic and commercial buildings.
  • Up to £10 million for innovations that improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings.
  • An extra £14 million for the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund.
  • Up to £20 million in a Carbon Capture and Utilisation demonstration programme.
  • Up to £20 million to demonstrate the viability of switching to low carbon fuels for industry.
  • Up to £20 million to support clean technology early stage funding.

Business and industry efficiency, commitments to:

  • Develop a package of measures to support energy productivity.
  • Establish an Industrial Energy Efficiency scheme to help large companies install measures to cut their energy use.
  • Collaborate with global partners and invest up to £100 million in carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) and industrial innovation.

Improving our homes, commitments to:

Low carbon transport, commitments to:

  • End to the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040.
  • Spend £1 billion supporting the take-up of ultra-low emission vehicles.
  • Work with industry to accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles.
  • Invest around £841 million in innovation in low carbon transport technology and fuels.

Clean, affordable energy, commitments to:

  • Phase out the use of unabated coal to produce electricity by 2025.
  • Provide up to half a billion pounds for further Contract for Difference auctions for less established technologies.
  • Deliver new nuclear power through Hinkley Point C.

Agriculture and natural resources, commitments to:

  • Design a new system of agricultural support.
  • Establish a new network of forests, in support of a commitment to plant 11 million trees and increase the amount of UK timber used in construction.
  • Work towards zero avoidable waste by 2050.
  • Publish a new Resources and Waste Strategy.

A taskforce of senior financial experts has been given 6 months to deliver proposals to accelerate investment in the transition to a low carbon economy, creating high-value jobs and opportunities for businesses.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said; “For the first time in a generation, the British government is leading the way on taking decisions on new nuclear, rolling out smart meters and investing in low carbon innovation. The world is moving from being powered by polluting fossil fuels to clean energy. It’s as big a change as the move from the age of steam to the age of oil and Britain is showing the way.”

Climate Change and Industry Minister Claire Perry said; “The impact of the Paris agreement and the unstoppable global shift towards low carbon technologies gives the UK an unparalleled opportunity. By focusing on Clean Growth, we can cut the cost of energy, drive economic prosperity, create high value jobs and improve our quality of life.”

The Strategy would seem to run counter to recent government decisions to scrap the Green Deal, to scrap the zero carbon homes and zero carbon non-domestic buildings strategies and to wind down the Code for Sustainable Homes.

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