IEMA reacts to UK government's Net Zero Strategy

21st October 2021

IEMA has raised concerns around a lack of funding for proposals outlined in the UK government's Net Zero Strategy, which was published earlier this week.

The long-awaited Net Zero Strategy outlines how a raft of new policies and investments will guide the country towards net-zero emissions by 2050.

This includes an extra £620m for electric vehicle grants and infrastructure, and a further £350m to support the electrification of vehicles and their supply chains.

An additional £500m will go towards developing “green technologies of the future”, while £200m is promised for nuclear projects, and an extra £124m for peat restoration, woodland creation and management.

The strategy also earmarks £180m for the development of sustainable aviation fuel to ensure that 10% of fuel used by airlines is sustainable by 2030.

Overall, the government anticipates that its proposals will secure 440,000 well-paid jobs and unlock £90bn in investment by 2030.

While welcoming the plans, IEMA said that issues around funding and the timing of certain policies remain a concern as the UK transitions towards net-zero emissions.

“There is still more to be done in terms of funding the transition, with the phasing of policy interventions to ensure that that this can happen as speedily as possible,” IEMA said in a press release. “There must be an economic business case for tackling greenhouse gas emissions, that both addresses climate change and the need for economic good sense.

“Driving forward the green jobs agenda is of particular concern to IEMA, and an area that we have worked with government on during the development of the Net Zero Strategy.

“We are pleased to see support for up to 440,000 jobs across net-zero industries by 2030. However, we believe all jobs should become greener as quickly as possible and that diversity and inclusion must be a part of the strategy to build a greener workforce.

“There is still much to do and much to implement in this strategy, and we look forward to seeing some positive outcomes from COP26 next month.”

IEMA's head of policy, Ben Goodwin, has published a blog with further reaction to the new strategy.

The government also published its Heat and Buildings Strategy earlier this week, which it hopes will incentivise people to install low-carbon heating systems.

New grants of £5,000 will be available from April next year to encourage homeowners to install low-carbon heating systems, such as heat pumps, through a new £450m three-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

The government and industry will also work together to help meet the aim of heat pumps costing the same to buy and run as fossil fuel boilers by 2030, supporting a new target for all new heating systems to use or support low-carbon technologies by 2035.

Sir John Armitt, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, commented: “While we welcome government’s ambition to improve the energy efficiency of homes and other buildings, the continued lack of specific targets for the number of insulation installations makes it difficult to measure progress.

“It remains to be seen whether the range of schemes set out in the strategy will be able to deliver at the pace required.”

Image credit: iStock

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