“Green industrial revolution” plan welcome but short on detail

Statement in response to the Government’s announcement of a Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution by Peter Kydd, SWIP Chair:

“The South West Infrastructure Partnership welcomes the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a “green industrial revolution”.  It provides some long-awaited guidance on how Government policy will change as the UK strives to achieve net zero by 2050.  However, it is short on how this will be achieved and what changes will be needed by all of us to encourage this transition.  We therefore agree with the Institution of Civil Engineer’s view that more detail is required in terms of how the Ten Point Plan will be delivered in practice, particularly relating to the changes in funding that will be required for roads and energy infrastructure.  We are hopeful that the forthcoming Energy White Paper and National Infrastructure Strategy will set out a more comprehensive and systemic approach to delivery.  

“The transition to net zero requires change by everyone and it is not clear how Government will approach what have in the past been political hot potatoes, for example, moving from vehicle excise duty to road charging on a pay as you go basis.  Other big changes include how we will heat our homes in the future and the way in which we travel.

“The South West has a mixed economy with cities acting as the economic powerhouses, but the majority of the region is rural, relying on tourism and agriculture.  As new low carbon funding and incentive mechanisms are introduced to replace those that aren’t fit for purpose in a net zero world, we would like to see an approach that acknowledges the different challenges that exist in largely rural economies such as the South West.

“We are also concerned that whilst a number of timeframes have been brought forward such as the ban on petrol and diesel cars, there is a significant gap between the ambitions of local authorities in the region to achieve net zero by 2030 as declared in their climate emergencies and the Government’s own target of 2050.  It is also unclear whether the newly announced policies will be sufficient to deliver net zero by 2050.”