Regarding climate change, I completely agree that the need for global action is extremely urgent and we have no time to waste. While there is more to do in the UK, our Nationally Determined Contribution to greenhouse gas emissions are world leading in their ambition and we need other nations to show similar ambition.
Therefore, have you written to the Chinese Ambassador, Russian Ambassador, and Indian High Commissioner about the actions they need to take to get the planet back on the right trajectory?
Furthermore, I have frequently pushed our own Government to do more in respect of the new houses we build, increasing electric vehicle charging points, and in the area of regenerative agriculture as the soil can sequester more carbon than all the trees and plants on the planet. Did you know, for example, that agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions in sub-Saharan Africa than the energy sector, notwithstanding the fact that the coal being burnt in South Africa alone means that their greenhouse gas emissions are higher than the UK and we are a significantly larger economy.
If you have not seen the Netflix documentary ‘Kiss the Ground’, I would very strongly recommend it.
In relation to green investment, although I cannot pre-empt decisions to be announced at the Spending Review, I know how seriously the Government takes our transition to net zero and a greener future after the pandemic. I will continue to engage with my colleagues at the Treasury on the topic of green investment and make them aware of the strength of feeling on the matter.
As the UK was the first G7 economy to legislate to achieve net zero emissions, I welcomed the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan which will allow us to forge ahead in eradicating the UK’s contribution to climate change.
This plan will mobilise £12 billion of government investment to create and support 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs across the UK. It is expected to spur over three times as much private sector investment by 2030. The plan builds on the UK’s existing strengths and will cement London as the global centre of green finance. The plan is particularly important in the run up to hosting the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021 where the UK will call for further global action.
The UK will produce enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling how much is currently produced to 40GW by 2030. The Government will work with industry and aim to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes. In addition, the Government aims to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade. The UK will also become a world leader in carbon capture technology to store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030.
The plan also includes a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028, £1 billion funding to make our schools, hospitals and homes more energy efficient, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year, promoting and investing in zero-emission transport and £20 million to develop clean maritime technology.
I am also delighted that the UK recently issued the UK’s first ever Sovereign Green Bond, becoming the first country in the world to make Taskforce on Climate-Related Disclosures mandatory by 2023. I am proud that the UK has also used its chair of the G7 to broker an agreement to move towards making climate disclosures mandatory across their respective economies.