U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled an ambitious green manifesto in a bid to re-energize the British economy and rebrand his image.
The £12 billion pound initiative will create hundreds of thousands of jobs according to Johnson and set-in motion a “green industrial revolution” which amongst other pledges will ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030.
The 10-point plan includes; quadrupling offshore wind production to 40 gigawatts by 2030. Advancing clean energy by building new nuclear power plants. Incentivizing airlines and shipping to decarbonize and become greener industries. Make UK homes more energy efficient, plant 30,000 hectares of trees every year, and facilitate the development of cutting-edge green focused technologies. While the City of London will be encouraged to reposition itself as the global center of Green Finance.
The UK governments plan will also see public investment of half a billion pounds in the production of batteries for electric vehicles, all with the ambition to make the country a net zero carbon economy by 2050.
Next year Britain will host the COP26 global climate change summit in Glasgow, and Johnson clearly recognizes the green agenda may be his best route to reestablishing a special relationship with the U.S.
Incoming US President Joe Biden is a keen advocate of climate change policy and Johnson’s new manifesto will undoubtedly play well in helping smooth over any concerns caused by the UK premier’s previously close relationship with Trump, while realigning the nations with a common lofty goal.
Phasing out diesel and petrol car sales by 2030 puts the UK on a fast track ahead of other European nations such as France and Spain who have committed to doing so by 2040. Only Norway has a more ambitious finish line of 2025.
The lack of standardized infrastructure for electric vehicles is regarded as one of the biggest brakes on adoption, and as such Johnson’s plan commits the government to invest more than £1 billion on the roll out of charging points for electric vehicles in the residential streets and highways of Britain.
Johnson’s green manifesto will be further welcome news to China’s SVolt Energy Technology Co, who this week announced plans to invest 2 billion euros to build a battery factory in Germany. The Chinese company, spun off from Great Wall Motor Co., recognizes the opportunity created by the surging electric car demand in Europe and also the chance to avail itself to some of the world’s largest subsidies for EV. The new plant will produce enough gigawatt’s of battery’s to power between 300,000 and 500,000 electric cars annually. Production is due to begin at the new plant by the end of 2023 at a site near Saarloius on the German – French border.