Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled a Ten-point plan to improve the UK’s environmental performance, whilst also supporting economic recovery. This is being styled as a “Green Industrial Revolution”.
Key initiatives are:
- Offshore wind – quadrupling capacity to 40GW by 2030 - enough to power every UK home by 2030
- Transition from fossil fuels to hydrogen – 5GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2030
- Nuclear – development of the next generation of nuclear energy generation
- The transition to electric vehicles, with investment in the necessary infrastructure
- Investment in public transport, cycling and walking
- Research into low carbon aviation and maritime cargo
- Making homes more energy efficient
- Carbon capture – with the aim of removing 10mt of CO2 by 2030
- Planting 30,000 hectares of trees each year
- Investment in innovation and development of green finance
The government aims to invest £12bn in these projects, with the intention that this should be supplemented with private capital of at least £36bn.
The plan is expected to create up to 250,000 high-quality jobs across the UK, especially in industrial areas away from the South East of England.
The plan has attracted a good deal of media attention, especially the commitment to end new sales of private petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 (10 years earlier than previously planned).
For food businesses, the most important part of the pan may be the planned consultation on phasing-out fossil fuel for HGVs. This work will begin in 2021. £20m will be invested in researching alternative transport technologies.
Land management and food production is not covered in detail in the plan but note that these elements also form part of government environmental strategy.
They will be delivered via the Environmental Land Management plan, which is expected to have significant long-term impact on land use and food production, with consequences for the food supply chain.
The National Food Strategy (England) will also address sustainable food production when Part Two is published in Spring 2021.
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