Net Zero Strategy | Key takeaways from government’s carbon-busting plan

Posted on 20 October 2021

The government has set out its pathway to achieving net zero carbon emissions in its much-anticipated Net Zero Strategy.

Building on the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan and Energy White Paper, the UK Net Zero Strategy sets out a cross-sector plan for how British businesses and consumers will be supported in making the transition to clean energy and green technology.

It sets out a number of funding commitments and policy pledges to decarbonising the UK’s transport system as well as moving towards cleaner energy consumption.

The government claims that the strategy will create 440,000 related job and unlock £90bn worth of investment by 2030.

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.”

The Strategy was released just hours after the government announced £10bn in foreign investment for 18 clean energy projects.

Business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added: “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.”

Key takeaways from the Net Zero Strategy:

On energy production:

  • By 2035 it aims for the UK to powered entirely by clean electricity, subject to security of supply

  • There will be a final investment decision on a large-scale nuclear plant by the end of this Parliament, and the launch a new £120M Future Nuclear Enabling Fund, retaining options for future nuclear technologies, including Small Modular Reactors, with a number of potential sites including Wylfa in North Wales

  • There will be 40GW of offshore wind by 2030, with more onshore, solar, and other renewables – with a new approach to onshore and offshore electricity networks to incorporate new low carbon generation

  • A move towards 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030 to put us at the forefront of this new technology that can utilise our North and Celtic Seas – backed by £380M overall funding for our world-leading offshore wind sector

  • The deployment of new flexibility measures including storage to help smooth out future price spikes

On transport:

  • Support for up to 22,000 jobs in 2024 and up to 74,000 jobs in 2030

  • Start to mobilise additional public and private investment of around £220bn, in line with our 2037 delivery pathway

  • Remove all road emissions at the tailpipe and kickstart zero emissions international travel

  • £2bn investment which will help enable half of journeys in towns and cities to be cycled or walked by 2030

  • Transformation of local transport systems, with 4,000 new zero emission buses and the infrastructure to support them, and a net zero rail network by 2050, with the ambition to remove all diesel-only trains by 2040

  • Significant investment in rail electrification and city rapid transit systems

  • Further funding of £620 million for zero emission vehicle grants and EV Infrastructure, including further funding for local EV Infrastructure, with a focus on local on street residential charging

On greenhouse gas removal:

  • New, highly skilled, jobs in our industrial heartlands

  • Start to mobilise additional public and private investment of around £20bn, in line with our 2037 delivery pathway

  • An ambition to deploy at least 5 MtCO2 (metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) per year of engineered GGRs (green gas removals) by 2030

On fuel supply and hydrogen:

  • Extra support for a Industrial Decarbonisation and Hydrogen Revenue Support (IDHRS) scheme to fund the UK’s new hydrogen and industrial carbon capture business models

  • The government will be providing up to £140m to establish the scheme, including up to £100m to award contracts of up to 250MW of electrolytic hydrogen production capacity in 2023 with further allocation in 2024

  • The introduction of a new climate compatibility checkpoint for future licensing on the UK Continental Shelf and regulating the oil and gas sector in a way that minimises greenhouse gases through the revised Oil and Gas Authority strategy

On natural resources:

  • New employment opportunities across the UK. Afforestation in England could support up to 1,900 jobs in 2024 and 2,000 jobs in 2030

  • Start to mobilise additional public and private investment of approximately £30bn, in line with our 2037 delivery pathway

  • Treble woodland creation rates in England, contributing to the UK’s overall target of increasing planting rates to 30,000 hectares a year by the end of this parliament

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