London — UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a 10-point climate change plan late Nov. 17, promising GBP12 billion ($15.93 billion) of investment in a range of decarbonization initiatives while bringing forward the ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 10 years to 2030.
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Launching a "green industrial revolution," Johnson set out plans to create 250,000 jobs in the UK's former industrial heartlands, boosting investment in clean hydrogen production, electric vehicle battery technology, carbon capture, nuclear, heat pumps and energy efficiency.
"Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven't lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country," Johnson said in a statement.
A green industrial revolution would be powered "by the wind turbines of Scotland and the North East, propelled by the electric vehicles made in the Midlands and advanced by the latest technologies developed in Wales, so we can look ahead to a more prosperous, greener future," he said.
The 10-point plan marked the start of the UK path to net zero, Johnson's office said in a statement.
The plan confirmed the UK would end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, 10 years earlier than planned.
"However, we will allow the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe until 2035," it said.
It would launch a consultation on the phase out of new diesel HGVs "to put the UK in the vanguard of zero emission freight," but with no date set for this.
To support the switch to electric vehicles, Johnson announced GBP1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of charge points across England, GBP582 million in grants for the purchase of zero or ultra-low emission vehicles, and "nearly GBP500 million" over the next four years on the development and mass production of EV batteries, aiming to boost investment in the Midlands and North East.
The plan also confirmed a quadrupling in offshore wind capacity by 2030, to 40 GW, supporting up to 60,000 jobs.
It pledged up to GBP500 million for low-carbon hydrogen development, aiming to generate 5 GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes, and developing a first town heated entirely by hydrogen by 2030.
For nuclear, GBP525 million would help develop large and smaller-scale nuclear plants, backing research into the next generation of advanced modular reactors, "which could support 10,000 jobs."
An extra GBP200 million, meanwhile, would support two carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s, with another two set to be created by 2030.
This increases the total invested in CCS to GBP1 billion, helping to support 50,000 jobs in areas such as the Humber, Teesside, Merseyside, Grangemouth and Port Talbot, the government said.
Other points in the plan included GBP1 billion of funds next year to support energy efficiency in homes and public buildings, plus a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
The remaining points confirm significant investment set out over the last year, including the GBP1 billion energy innovation fund, GBP5 billion for alternative greener ways of travel including cycling, walking, and buses, and GBP5.2 billion to create for new flood and coastal defences in England by 2027.
UK TEN-POINT CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN, NOV. 18, 2020
Source: UK government, S&P Global Platts