Deep retrofits, community energy and net-zero stress tests: Green Alliance publishes Covid-19 recovery recommendations. The think-tank’s ‘Blueprint for a Resilient Economy’ briefings warn that the Government will fail to meet its 2050 net-zero target and to create a national economy that is resilient to future systems shocks unless it transforms its processes for investing in infrastructure. Since 2017, the briefings state, the Government has invested more than £9bn in high-carbon transport infrastructure. A further £8bn of procurements in roads, airports and shipping is also earmarked for this Parliament, with no “green strings” currently attached. This second figure is likely a conservative estimate, given that Ministers have not published specific information on all projects due to begin after 2021. When buildings, nature and heavy industry are added to the mix, the UK Government’s annual spending is currently £14.1bn below the levels needed to meet short, mid and long-term climate targets, Green Alliance warns.
Edie 29th Jun e 2020 read more »
An extra £14bn is needed each year to help the UK meet its climate commitments, a new think tank report suggests. Green Alliance says the cash is needed for clean transport, nature restoration, and low-carbon buildings. Over the past three years, it says that £9bn has been spent on projects that actually increase CO2, like roads. It comes as large UK firms make a promise to “kick-start a new approach” and “put the environment first”. The Green Alliance think tank insists though that the funding issue must be solved in the prime minister’s economic recovery speech expected on Tuesday. Its calculations are based on the government’s own assessment of major projects in the pipeline released on 16 June. The government said it is determined to meet carbon targets, but the report draws attention to ministers’ plans to spend £28bn on roads. The authors cast doubt on whether the government should spend any more money at all on projects that increase CO2 emissions.
BBC 29th June 2020 read more »
Billions of pounds allocated for roads should be redirected to upgrading broadband coverage across the country and other measures to promote a greener economy, a think tank says. The Green Alliance says the UK cannot afford to expand its roads if it is to hit its target to be carbon neutral by 2050. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, said in March that £27 billion would be spent over five years on upgrading 4,000 miles of road, improving 100 junctions and better links to 20 ports and airports. The alliance said: “Even with the 2035 phase-out date for petrol and diesel cars, we can’t shift to electric fast enough to meet our carbon budgets: we can’t afford further road expansion.” It also called for projects to make it easier and safer to walk or cycle and investment in electric car chargers. A separate study has found that 2.2 million jobs are at risk from the shift to a low-carbon economy unless workers acquire new skills.
Times 29th June 2020 read more »