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UK announces new plan to reach 2050 net zero target

19 October 2021

The UK government released a new Net Zero Strategy on October 19, setting out how the country will deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The plans are laid out in the report ‘Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener’ which has been published 12 days before global leaders meet in Glasgow for COP26.

The new strategy sets out how the UK will secure 440,000 jobs and unlock £90 billion in investment in 2030 on its path to ending its contribution to climate change by 2050, the government said after unveiling its plans. The strategy builds on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘10 Point Plan’ and sets out an economy-wide plan for how British businesses and consumers will be supported in making the transition to clean energy and green technology.

As part of the strategy, new investment includes:

- An extra £350 million to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains and another £620 million for targeted electric vehicle grants and infrastructure, particularly local on-street residential charge points, with plans to put thousands more zero emission cars and vans onto UK roads through a zero emission vehicle mandate.

- Kick-starting the commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and enable the delivery of 10% SAF by 2030 with £180 million in funding to support the development of UK SAF plants.

- £140 million Industrial and Hydrogen Revenue Support scheme to accelerate industrial carbon capture and hydrogen, bridging the gap between industrial energy costs from gas and hydrogen and helping green hydrogen projects get off the ground. Two carbon capture clusters – Hynet Cluster in North West England and North Wales and the East Coast Cluster in Teesside and the Humber – will be backed by the government’s £1 billion in support.

- An extra £500 million towards innovation projects to develop the green technologies of the future, bringing the total funding for net zero research and innovation to at least £1.5 billion. This will support the most pioneering ideas and technologies to decarbonise homes, industries, land and power.

- £3.9 billion of new funding for decarbonising heat and buildings.

- £120 million towards the development of nuclear projects through the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund.

The policies and spending brought forward in the Net Zero Strategy mean that since the Ten Point Plan, £26 billion of government capital investment has been mobilised for the green industrial revolution, the government said. More than £5.8 billion of foreign investment in green projects has also been secured since the launch of the Ten Point Plan, along with at least 56,000 jobs in the UK’s clean industries – and another 18 deals have been set out at the Global Investment Summit to support growth in vital sectors such as wind and hydrogen energy, sustainable homes and carbon capture and storage.

The government added that the UK has hit every carbon budget to date and the Net Zero Strategy sets out clear policies and proposals for meeting its fourth and fifth carbon budgets, and keeps it on track for carbon budget 6, its ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), while setting out a vision for a decarbonised economy in 2050.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The UK’s path to ending our contribution to climate change will be paved with well-paid jobs, billions in investment and thriving green industries – powering our green industrial revolution across the country.

“By moving first and taking bold action, we will build a defining competitive edge in electric vehicles, offshore wind, carbon capture technology and more, whilst supporting people and businesses along the way. With the major climate summit COP26 just around the corner, our strategy sets the example for other countries to build back greener too as we lead the charge towards global net zero.”

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “There is a global race to develop new green technology, kick-start new industries and attract private investment. The countries that capture the benefits of this global green industrial revolution will enjoy unrivalled growth and prosperity for decades to come – and it’s our job to ensure the UK is fighting fit.

“Today’s plan will not only unlock billions of pounds of investment to boost the UK’s competitive advantage in green technologies, but will create thousands of jobs in new, future-proof industries – clearly demonstrating that going green and economic growth go hand in hand.”

Published alongside these two strategies today is HM Treasury’s Net Zero Review, an analytical report which explores the key issues as the UK decarbonises. It helps to build a picture of where opportunities could arise and the factors to be taken into account when designing decarbonisation policy. While there are costs in reaching net zero, the cost of inaction is much higher.

Read the full Net Zero Strategy in full by clicking here.


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