Today, the UK Government announced its Industrial Strategy, which sets out a plan to boost our economy and improve living standards over the next ten years. It sets out four ‘grand challenges’; Artificial Intelligence and Data Economy, the Future of Mobility, Ageing Society and Clean Growth; as well as plans to overcome these.
It’s promising to see that clean growth is a central part of this Strategy, with a focus on aligning UK industry with the global shift to clean growth. Also reassuring is the government recognising the huge opportunities that clean growth and restoring nature offer the UK. Plans to develop, manufacture and use low-carbon technologies, as well as using resources more efficiently, indicate that the government is beginning to get more serious about tackling climate change.
However, our Head of Climate and Energy Policy, Gareth Redmond-King, points out that “there needs to be some detail on how the UK Government plans to seize these clean growth opportunities, rather than a series of strategy papers setting out how important they are.” While “it’s great to see support for the growth of electric vehicles and money for research into the clean technologies of the future, there is no mention of the technologies we already know about. We don’t need new research into energy efficiency, and why no mention of onshore wind and solar as clean growth success stories?”
Although we welcome the recognition from government of the importance of clean growth, and the opportunities it presents, what we need to see now are detailed plans for how these good ideas will be put into practice, one of which should be the proposed 25 Year Environment Plan, to enable us to become a true global leader on green growth.