Simon Clarke, a long-standing champion of the net zero transition and clean technologies, has returned to government as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, as Boris Johnson looked to complete a major reshuffle of his government and prepare his top team for a crucial autumn that is set to be dominated by the net zero and levelling up agenda. The news came as Number 10 also announced that Greg Hands is to become the new Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, moving from his current position at the Department for International Trade. Meanwhile, several Ministers with key green briefs, including Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Environment Secretary George Eustice, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and COP26 President-designate Alok Sharma, all remain in post following yesterday’s cabinet reshuffle, ensuring significant continuity ahead of a raft of crucial decarbonisation policy decisions this autumn.
Business Green 16th sept 2021 read more »
The Government’s plan to ban the installation of new gas boilers will leave 24 million homes with huge bills and potentially weeks of disruption, says GMB Union. The warning comes ahead of a crunch vote on the future of the energy sector at TUC Congress tomorrow. [Sunday 12 September]. The Government is reportedly planning on banning new gas boiler installations from 2035 – although it is rumoured that the ban may be put back to 2040. GMB, the UK’s energy union, warned policymakers that 24 million homes are connected to the gas grid. Nine out of ten households currently use gas (86 per cent). The scale of the disruption will be most intense in ‘red wall’ areas, as the North East, the North West, the West Midlands, and Yorkshire and the Humber have the highest proportion of homes connected to the gas grid of all English regions. Under Government plans, bill payers could be forced to install an electric heat pump. Installing a basic model costs £8,750 on average before VAT – equivalent to almost a third (31 per cent) of the average household’s entire annual income. The cost for some households could be much higher. People in Corby face the most intense disruption of any area as the most connected place to the gas grid in the country – with an estimated 99 per cent of households connected to the grid. GMB Union calls for a conversion programme to green gasses such as hydrogen which could support 100,000 jobs. Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: “Ripping out existing boilers across 24 million homes across the UK is utterly absurd. It will lead to heating chaos for millions of people and general resentment towards the UK’s drive to net zero – especially if households are then forced to rely on unproven heat pump technology. “By investing in hydrogen technologies, we can use our existing gas network instead of throwing it all away. “And thousands of skilled gas engineers across the country will have jobs adapting the systems. Hydrogen is crucial to meeting our net zero targets and crucial for ensuring a proper transition for gas workers.”
GMB 12th Sept 2021 read more »