To meet the prime minister’s promise to “build back better” after coronavirus, Sunak could allocate more funding for green infrastructure projects, boosting job creation in the industries of the future. He earmarked £2bn to help insulate Britain’s draughty homes and £1bn for public buildings. But campaigners say it’s not enough. According to the IPPR, £30bn of annual investment is needed to meet the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Aiming to cement a greener economic recovery, the Federation of Master Builders has demanded a national retrofit strategy to help boost buildings’ energy efficiency. Manufacturers have also called for spending to stimulate the development of electric cars – including charging infrastructure. Sunak could look at plans already announced by other countries. Italy is planning a €1bn (£910m) car scrappage scheme, while Germany is offering a €3,000 subsidy for new electric cars, and has promised a €50bn package of funding for research into new low-carbon vehicle technologies.
Guardian 18th July 2020 read more »
A grassroots revolt against councils closing or narrowing roads as part of a “cycling revolution” has led to campaigners preparing to sue over “abuse” of emergency coronavirus laws, The Telegraph can reveal. In May, Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, invited local authorities to bid for £250 million of an emergency fund to promote walking and cycling to relieve pressure on public transport during the coronavirus crisis. The move came after bike sales rose more than 50 per cent as people shunned trains and buses during lockdown. Many councils enthusiastically embraced the green emergency policy by introducing new or wider cycle lanes, closing some residential side streets to traffic and expanding footpaths, occasionally with little or no public consultation. In what may prove increasingly embarrassing for the Tory Government, local conservatives are leading much of the opposition to the policy as motorists return to the roads, often seeing personal cars as a better form of social distancing than public transport.
Telegraph 18th July2020 read more »