Green highlights from the 2020 Spending Review

The government revealed more detail on its green spending plans for 2021-22 in November, including £1.9 billion for electric vehicles and £1.1 billion for making buildings more energy efficient.

Posted on 16 December 2020

The government revealed more detail on its green spending plans for 2021-22 in November, including £1.9 billion for electric vehicles and £1.1 billion for making buildings more energy efficient.

In addition to budgeting £55 billion to tackle COVID-19 in 2021-22, the Chancellor’s 2020 Spending Review allocates £100 billion of capital spending as part of a “once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure” over the next fiscal year.

Part of this will help to deliver on the recently announced Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, which sets out the government’s priorities for greening the economy over the next decade.

Electric vehicles

In support of the Ten Point Plan, the Chancellor’s spending plans include £1.9 billion for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and consumer incentives:

•  £950 million to rollout rapid charging hubs at every service station on England’s motorways and major A roads, so motorists can charge their car on long journeys “in the time it takes to have a cup of coffee”

•  £582 million for the Plug-in Car, Van, Taxi and Motorcycle Grant until 2022-23, reducing the sticker price of zero and ultra-low emission vehicles

•  £275 million to extend support for charge point installations at homes, workplaces and on-street locations, targeting “difficult parts of the market” such as leaseholders and SMEs

•  £90 million to support the rollout of local charging infrastructure such as on-street charging schemes and rapid charging hubs.

Public transport and active travel

As well as supporting the decarbonisation of private vehicles, the Spending Review sets aside £257 million for supporting cycling and walking in 2021-22. A further £120 million will be provided to rollout zero emission buses in towns and cities.

Industry and technology

Funding set aside for green industry and clean energy technologies includes:

•  £1 billion for a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Infrastructure Fund, which will help to establish four CCS clusters to capture CO2 emissions in industrial heartlands, including in the North West

•  £240 million for a Net Zero Hydrogen Fund to support the production of low carbon hydrogen for use in industry, transport, power and heating homes, and a further £81 million for hydrogen heating trials

•  £160 million to invest in modern ports and manufacturing infrastructure to grow the UK supply chain for offshore wind

•  £500 million over the next four years for the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries and associated components in the electric vehicle supply chain

•  £81 million of R&D funding for a programme of investments in low and zero emission transport technologies, such as sustainable aviation fuels, zero emission freight trials and innovative vehicle charging solutions.

Warmer homes and buildings

A total of £1.1 billion has been allocated in 2021-22 for making homes and building “net zero ready”, including:

•  £320 million to extend the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme to March 2022

•  £475 million to make public buildings greener

•  £150 million to support energy efficiency in some of the poorest homes and a further £60 million to retrofit social housing

•  £122 million to support the creation of ‘clean heat networks’, helping to meet the Ten Point Plan’s target of installing 600,000 heat pumps cross the country by 2028.

Natural environment

A smaller pot of investment was allocated for the protection and enhancement of the natural environment, including:

•  A further £90 million for the Nature for Climate Fund, first announced in the 2020 Budget, to increase tree planting and peatland restoration in England

•  A further £40 million to double the size of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund, which was set up in September to fund nature restoration projects delivered by environmental charities and their partners.

National Infrastructure Strategy

The government’s capital spending plans are supported by a new National Infrastructure Strategy, which is based around three central objectives: the recovery from COVID-19, levelling up the economy across the union, and meeting the UK’s net zero emissions target by 2050. A new UK Infrastructure Bank, which will be headquartered in the north of England, will be launched in 2021 to help finance major investment projects.

 

 

Posted under General Interest and Environmental Regulations and Legislation on 16 December 2020