Clean Growth in the UK

The UK is developing a world-leading offer across the clean growth economy with key opportunities for investment across renewable energy, zero-emission vehicle technologies, sustainable consumption, infrastructure, and green finance

Over the last 30 years, the UK has shown that economic success and environmental responsibility go hand in hand. Our low-carbon industries already support over 460,000 jobs from electric vehicle manufacturing in the Midlands and the North East to our thriving offshore wind industry centred on the Humber and the Tees.

In 2019, the UK Government became the first major economy to adopt a legally binding obligation to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The UK government’s ten point plan will lay the foundations for this Green Industrial Revolution.

The plan brings together ambitious policies and significant new public investment, while seeking to deliver up to an estimated £36 billion GBP of private investment by 2030 across energy, buildings, transport, innovation and the natural environment. In doing so, the UK will position itself to take advantage of export opportunities presented by low carbon technologies and services into new, global emerging markets.

Approach

Our early action on clean growth means that we have nurtured a broad range of low carbon industries, including some sectors in which we have world leading positions. This success is built upon wider strengths – our scientific research base, expertise in high-value service and financial industries, and a regulatory framework that provides long-term direction and support for innovation and excellence in the design and manufacturing of leading-edge technology.

We will generate new clean power with offshore wind farms, nuclear plants and by investing up to half a billion pounds in new hydrogen technologies. We will use this energy to run our cars, buses, trucks and trains, ships and planes, and heating our homes. We will pioneer a new British industry dedicated to carbon capture, usage and storage.

Together these measures will reinvigorate our industrial heartlands, creating jobs and growth, and establishing world leading “SuperPlaces” that unite clean industry with transport and power. All of these ambitions will be propelled by strengthening Britain’s world-leading expertise in green finance and innovation.

Policies and business support

The UK’s world-leading domestic net zero ambitions, together with our international climate leadership, are clear signals to businesses and investors of the UK’s commitment to clean growth.

The ten point plan for a green industrial revolution and the accompanying National Infrastructure Strategy set a series of headline commitments across the economy that could contribute to net zero. The Plan allocated initial funding including a 1 billion GBP Net Zero Innovation Portfolio and kicked off processes to support delivery of the headline goals and others such as sustainable aviation fuels, low-carbon buses and HGVs, greenhouse gas removals, nuclear power, and green finance.

The Energy White Paper took further steps to support the ten point plan. These included consultations and explorations of policy options to support a fairer and more flexible energy system. Other strategies that will support the UK’s drive towards net zero include:

  • The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy - set a goal to cut industry emissions by around two-thirds from 2018 to 2035.
  • The Heat and Buildings Strategy - set out further detail on the Government’s plans for decarbonising heating in the UK.
  • The Transport Decarbonisation Plan - plan to decarbonise the UK’s entire transport system’ covering the transition to zero-emission road vehicles; freight and logistics; and aviation and shipping.
  • Net Zero Aviation Strategy - the Government has committed to a new consultation on aviation decarbonisation in 2021, followed by a Net Zero aviation strategy.
  • The Hydrogen Strategy - will consider how to support the scale-up of low-carbon hydrogen production, as well as the interaction with storage, distribution and potential end-use demand.
  • The Biomass Strategy - will coordinate across Government departments to assess how biomass should be sourced and used across the economy to contribute best to net zero.