A plan on buying new petrol and diesel cars will be brought forward to 2030, Boris Johnson confirmed tonight as he unveiled his £12billion, “Ten Point Plan” for a “green industrial revolution”.
The Prime Minister unveiled a host of measures aimed at slashing the UK’s carbon emissions and tackling climate change – and “creating and supporting” 250,000 “green jobs”.
He hopes the proposals will boost moves to meet Britain’s pledge for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The PM announced £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of electric vehicle charging points in homes, streets and motorways.
He also pledged £582m in grants for zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to make them cheaper and encourage take-up – and nearly £500m over four years to develop and mass produce electric vehicle batteries.
Other measures include creating Britain’s first town heated entirely by hydrogen, developing small and advanced nuclear reactors, and making homes, schools and hospitals “greener, warmer and more energy efficient”.
The Government set a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028, and Mr Johnson repeated a Conservative Party conference pledge to build enough offshore wind turbines to power every home.
The move would quadruple the amount of energy generated from offshore wind to 40GW by 2030, “supporting up to 60,000 jobs”.
While sales of diesel and petrol vehicles will be banned within 10 years, hybrid cars and vans that “can drive a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe” can continue until 2035.
No10 said the overall plan would cost £12bn but trigger three times as much in private sector investment.
The PM said: “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.
“My Ten Point Plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards net zero by 2050.
“Our green industrial revolution will 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.”
No10 said the “UK’s industrial heartlands” were “at the centre” of the plan, highlighting the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands, Scotland and Wales – regions and nations, apart from Scotland, which were key to the Tories’ landslide general election victory last December.
The plan comes in the same week the UK was due to host the COP26 UN climate change summit in Glasgow.
The gathering was postponed until next year because of the coronavirus crisis.
Other measures include generating 5GW of “low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes”, “making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel, and investing in zero-emission public transport of the future” and “supporting difficult-to-decarbonise industries to become greener through research projects for zero-emission planes and ships”.
Ministers have previously spoken of their push for “jet zero” for the aviation industry and to make the maritime sector more environmentally-friendly.
The PM also pledged to plant 30,000 hectares of trees every year, and a fresh focus on carbon capture and storage.
Greenpeace hailed a “big step forward for tackling the climate emergency”.
Head of politics Rebecca Newsom said: “This landmark announcement signals the end of the road for polluting cars and vans and a historic turning point on climate action.
“While switching to electric vehicles is no panacea, ditching new, polluting petrol and diesel in 2030 could put the Government back on track to meeting its climate commitments.”
Welcoming the plan, Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit head of analysis Jonathan Marshall said: “These points tick off a number of the major policy decisions needed to get the UK demonstrably back on track to its net zero target.
“Strong support for cleaning up transport, industry and home heating – areas long ignored by the Government – will help deliver on the urgent need to cut emissions shared by people in all corners of the UK.”
But Green New Deal UK co-executive director Fatima Ibrahim claimed the plan was “muddled” and “incomplete”.
She added: “It’s light on detail and the amount of funding allocated pales in comparison to what is needed – especially in the wake of the coronavirus.
“Many of us were hoping for a bold, ambitious and coherent plan that brings together industry, energy and nature, broadening the scope of what green investment can do and green jobs can be.”