When the UK took on the COP26 Presidency, in partnership with Italy, only 30 per cent of the world was covered by net zero targets. I am glad that figure is now at around 90 per cent.
I was strongly encouraged by the progress and agreements achieved at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021. The Glasgow Pact calls on countries to accelerate efforts towards the phase down of unabated coal power and phase out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while providing targeted support to the poorest and most vulnerable in line with national circumstances and recognising the need for support towards a just transition.
Furthermore, the Glasgow Pact will speed up the pace of climate action. All countries agreed to revisit and strengthen their current emissions targets to 2030 in 2022. This will be combined with a yearly political roundtable to consider a global progress report and a Leaders summit in 2023.
As included in the plan, the UK will produce enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling how much we currently produce to 40GW by 2030, thereby supporting up to 60,000 jobs. The Government will work with industry and aim to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes. In addition, the Government aims to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade. The UK will also become a world leader in carbon capture technology to store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030, equivalent to all emission of the industrial Humber today, through £200 million investment. Finally, from £525 million investment in nuclear as a clean energy source this will develop the next generation of small and advanced reactors which could support 10,000 jobs.
Other parts of the plan include a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028, £1 billion funding to make our schools, hospitals and homes more energy efficient, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year, promoting and investing in zero-emission transport and £20 million to develop clean maritime technology. The plan also includes a pledge to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, while the sale of some hybrid cars and vans will continue until 2035.
This plan will mobilise £12 billion of Government investment to create and support 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs across the UK. It is expected to spur over three times as much private sector investment by 2030.
The Government’s Net Zero Strategy builds on the Ten Point Plan and sets out a clear path for the changes needed to secure our energy, create jobs and new industries, and end the UK’s contribution to climate change. The UK can rapidly cut carbon emissions, while creating new jobs, new technologies and future-proof industries that will generate economic growth for decades to come.