UK unveils Clean Growth Strategy

UK has published the Clean Growth Strategy showing how the country is leading the way in cutting carbon emissions to combat climate change while driving economic growth.

‘The Clean Growth Strategy: Leading the way to a low carbon future’ has been published on October 12, 2017, by Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark.

Carbon emissions in the UK have fallen and national income risen faster and further than any other nation in the G7 – since 1990, emissions are down by 42% while the economy has grown by 67%, UK Government stated.

The government’s strategy sets out how the whole country can benefit from low carbon economic opportunities through the creation of new technologies and new businesses, which creates jobs and prosperity across the UK, while meeting the ambitious national targets to tackle climate change.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “This government has put clean growth at the heart of its Industrial Strategy to increase productivity, boost people’s earning power and ensure Britain continues to lead the world in efforts to tackle climate change.

“For the first time in a generation, the British government is leading the way on taking decisions on new nuclear, rolling out smart meters and investing in low carbon innovation. The world is moving from being powered by polluting fossil fuels to clean energy. It’s as big a change as the move from the age of steam to the age of oil and Britain is showing the way.”

For the first time the government is setting out in the Strategy how over £2.5 billion will be invested to support low carbon innovation from 2015 to 2021, as part of the largest increase in public spending on science, research and innovation in over three decades. This funding covers programmes delivering low carbon energy, transport, agriculture and waste.

The £2.5 billion of existing government spending includes up to £505 million from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Innovation Programme, which aims to accelerate the commercialization of innovative clean energy technologies and processes.

The low carbon economy could grow 11% per year between 2015 and 2030 – faster than the rest of the economy, the Government noted.

The Strategy was welcomed by Juergen Maier, CEO Siemens, who said: “Clean growth is good growth and the UK has a great opportunity to lead. Siemens welcomes the launch of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy which sets a clear direction for business and puts decarbonization at the heart of the industrial strategy.”

In addition, RenewableUK also welcomed the publication of the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Hugh McNeal said: “This Government has unveiled an ambitious plan which sets us firmly on a course to deliver the modern, clean energy system which the UK needs. Ministers are seizing the global opportunity to lead on low-carbon economic growth. It’s great to see a commitment in the Strategy to the development of a Sector Deal for offshore wind, and to see wave and tidal energy, and floating offshore wind, specifically recognized for their enormous potential. We also welcome the announcement that island wind projects will have the opportunity to compete in future auctions.”

Today’s Strategy fulfills the government’s ongoing commitment to demonstrate how it will continue to deliver carbon reductions. The government is focused on hitting the fifth carbon budget (2028 to 2032) with the package of measures outlined today.

UK progress was confirmed in a report by PwC which demonstrated the country is strongly outperforming its peers within the G20 according to PwC’s Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI). Its analysis published last month shows the UK decarbonizing faster than any other G20 nation. It also reveals that in 2016, the UK achieved a decarbonization rate of 7.7% – almost three times the global average.

Jonathan Grant, PwC sustainability director and Low Carbon Economy Index author, said:

“Analysis by PwC shows that the UK leads the G20 on clean growth and is decoupling emissions from economic growth significantly faster than its peers. The UK’s success comes down to policies that create a positive investment climate for low carbon technology, the drive to tackle emissions from coal and the strength of our services sectors.”

The Clean Growth Strategy should continue the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.