Business leaders welcome climate plan, but challenges lie ahead
PUBLISHED: 18:05 18 November 2020 | UPDATED: 18:05 18 November 2020
Last night prime minister Boris Johnson announced his plan for a “green industrial revolution”.
It outlines how the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be phased out by 2030 in a bid to cut climate emissions and local air pollution.
The government will also launch a consultation on the phase out of new diesel HGVs to clean up freight transport, though no date has been set.
Elsewhere in the ten-point plan, there are moves to have the UK’s first town entirely heated by hydrogen by the end of the decade, a renewed push on nuclear power and support for restoring nature and for walking and cycling.
The prime minister, who has already highlighted plans to power every home in the country by offshore wind within 10 years as part of his vision, said the moves would support up to 250,000 jobs.
Reacting to the announcement, Mark Sait chief executive of SaveMoneyCutCarbon – an energy saving consultancy service based in Bury St Edmunds – said: “My instant reaction was: ‘Fantastic’.
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“In general, it’s really positive. But as an operator in this sector it’s less about talking green and more about building green. It’s about how we actually do it.”
Mr Sait said carrying out the plan in Suffolk meant overcoming certain political and technological challenges.
“If you go to a village somewhere there are difficulties for getting broadband out to people.
“The same thing is going to apply to this type of infrastructure deployment in Suffolk.
“There’s a real issue there. You can just about get by with your broadband falling over, but if you go to get in the car it can’t have a flat battery.”Rob Diamond, a sustainability expert at Colchester-based construction firm Ingleton Wood, said: “We welcome this landmark announcement to help tackle climate change and decarbonise the economy.
“The new 2030 target is realistic but we reiterate long-standing concerns that urgent action is needed to overcome the infrastructure obstacles that stand in the way of the electric vehicle revolution.
“If we take the worst-case scenario of everyone finishing work and plugging in their cars, then turning on the oven, kettle and electric heating, we’re going to have a system pushed to its limits more often and risk power outages becoming more common.
“We’re calling on energy network operators, the government and transport industry stakeholders to step up plans to invest in cost-efficient and smart charging infrastructure investments that will support the uptake of electric vehicles and charging points.”
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