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UK lays out green plan to support up to 220,000 jobs

Saleha Riaz
·3-min read
The government aims to introduce long-term jobs in major infrastructure projects for power generation, carbon capture storage and hydrogen, as well as retrofitting homes for improved energy efficiency and clean heat. Photo: Getty Images
The government aims to introduce long-term jobs in major infrastructure projects for power generation, carbon capture storage and hydrogen, as well as retrofitting homes for improved energy efficiency and clean heat. Photo: Getty Images

The UK government announced its “ambitious” green plan on Monday, which it said will support up to 220,000 jobs, and see it start its own carbon market at the start of next year to help cut emissions after Brexit.

The plan includes introducing a UK emissions trading scheme from 1 January 2021 to replace the current EU emissions trading system at the end of the Brexit transition period.

The UK Emissions Trading Scheme “will be the world’s first net zero carbon cap and trade market, and a crucial step towards achieving the UK’s target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said in a statement.

It added that the scheme is more ambitious than the EU system it replaces: “From day one the cap on emissions allowed within the system will be reduced by 5%, and we will consult in due course on how to align with net zero. This gives industry the certainty it needs to invest in low carbon technologies.”

Meanwhile the employment it hopes to bring about include long-term jobs in major infrastructure projects for power generation, carbon capture storage and hydrogen, as well as a major programme of retrofitting homes for improved energy efficiency and clean heat.

READ MORE: UK regulator gives go-ahead to £40bn energy investment plan

The plan builds on prime minister Boris Johnson’s 10-point programme for a Green Industrial Revolution, and includes specific steps the government will take over the next decade to cut emissions from industry, transport, and buildings by 230 million metric tonnes – equivalent to taking 7.5 million petrol cars off the road permanently.

WATCH: The £2bn Green Home Grants scheme explained

“At every step of the way, we will place affordability and fairness at the heart of our reforms – unleashing a wave of competition so consumers get the best deals possible on their bills, while protecting the vulnerable and fuel poor with additional financial support,” the department said.

The plan includes kick-starting the hydrogen economy by working with industry to aim for 5 gigawatts of production by 2030, backed up by a new £240m ($322m) net zero Hydrogen Fund for low carbon hydrogen production.

It also includes investment of £1.3bn to accelerate the rollout of charge points for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways as well as up to £1bn to support the electrification of cars, including for the mass-production of the batteries needed for electric vehicles.

READ MORE: Shortage of charging points may hit UK's green ambition and switch to electric vehicles

The government also wants to support the lowest paid in the country with their bills through a £6.7bn package of measures that could save families in old inefficient homes up to £400.

And by the mid-2030s it expects all newly installed heating systems to be low carbon or to be appliances that we are confident can be converted to a clean fuel supply.

Last week, the UK’s energy regulator green-lighted a £40bn investment programme into the country’s energy infrastructure that will run from 2021 to 2026.

The aim is for the funding to improve services, reduce the impact of the networks on the environment, and drive a fair price for consumers.