The long-delayed Clean Growth Strategy (CGS) was recently released by the government, detailing new policies and proposals that will aim to decarbonise all sectors of the UK economy, whilst investing handsomely in economic growth through renewable and sustainable sources.
Ministers have said that by keeping green growth at the heart of the nation’s industrial strategy, the benefits will ripple across the wider economy, paving the way for a sustainable future.
With investments totaling over £2.5 billion from 2015 to 2021, the ambitious strategy will see a huge number of new, clean-energy jobs created on top of the 430,000 that already exist in low-carbon businesses.
The bulk of the 164-page document details measures for that will be utilised to cut emissions from transport, electricity, buildings and heating, assisted by the funding and direction of the Green Finance Taskforce, which is comprised of senior leaders from the finance sector and government.
The release of the CGS is positive news for British wind farm developers who have been promised around £550 million in subsidies, which creates the potential for doubling the current offshore wind capacity in the UK.
While wind-farm developers may seem like the big winners with this document’s publication, other low-carbon technologies can get excited for their future.
Low-carbon transport has been promised £1 billion worth of support, with the main focus being on establishing and developing a high-tech and world leading charging infrastructure for electric and hybrid vehicles. This funding will also be shared indirectly with consumers, proposing subsidies to help with the upfront costs of electric car ownership.
In terms of living, improvements in houses’ energy efficiency has been outline din the CGS, with the government looking to pump £3.6 billion into upgrading over 1 million homes through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). This move will accompany the measures that will see all ‘fuel poor’ homes being upgraded to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2030 and as many homes as possible to be EPC Band C by 2035.
These measures will also be boosted by around £10 million worth of funding for innovations that provide low carbon heat in domestic and commercial buildings, along with an additional £10 million for improving existing buildings’ energy efficiency.
Although the CGS is broad, many argue that it lacks real depth or ‘defined details’. On top of this, commentators suggest that even with the implementation of these measures, the UK will still fall short of meeting it’s future carbon budgets, although he government insists any unforeseen but likely acceleration in private sector innovation will help propel the UK to meeting its targets.
Although this plan sets out 50 separate policies which will be put to action over the coming years, commentators have suggested the UK would still fall short of meeting the fifth carbon budget covering the 2028-32 period by 10 per cent.
While there may be pitfalls in the CGS, it is certainly positive to see the government finally show a proactive approach in advancing the economy through sustainable means. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.