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Responding to today’s publication of the Government’s new Net Zero Strategy, Patrick Hall, Senior Research Fellow at Bright Blue, commented:

“The Government ought to be applauded for delivering one of the most comprehensive, economy-wide net zero strategies worldwide, and doing so before COP26. However, there is a lot in this strategy which has already been announced in previous publications from the Government, and questions still remain as to how the Government plans to deliver on some of its lofty ambitions. 

“Given the current political climate, it is unsurprising that the Government has resisted a boiler ban. However, clear market signals such as this will inevitably have to be introduced, just as the 2030 phase-out date for ICE vehicles was. As the cost of low-carbon heating systems fall, it will be more palatable for Ministers to call for this.

“It is reassuring to see the Government is being technology agnostic when it comes to delivering a low-carbon energy future. Their commitment to nuclear power is laudable – it will be essential in delivering a firm, low-carbon baseload, coupled with a mix of renewables and flexibility measures.

“The Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a step in the right direction for delivering low-carbon heating over the longer term. However, by only providing funding for up to 90,000 households to install low-carbon heating systems, it falls short of what is needed to realise the Government’s target of 600,000 heat pump installations by 2028.

“Delivering green retrofits at the local authority level makes sense, and we saw this play out with the success of the Local Authority Delivery scheme. Local authorities have a good understanding of the housing stock in their area, often own large portions of it, and have relationships with trusted local installers. As such, increased funding for the Home Upgrade Grant is welcome. 

“The commitment to a ZEV Mandate will be welcomed by vehicle manufacturers and retailers alike, providing clarity around what kind of regulatory regime will supersede the EU’s CO2 emissions standards for vehicles. However, the Government should consider introducing a Used Plug-in Car Grant to support low-income households into EV ownership.

“Interoperability between charging networks remains nascent in the UK compared to our European neighbours. To act as a catalyst for interoperability, the Government should make it a requirement in order to be eligible to receive central and local government funding towards EV chargepoints. 

“With a quick turnover time, the fleet sector is a critical source of vehicles for the second-hand market, where many Britons purchase their vehicles. To increase the flow of vehicles into the second hand market, the Government should extend enhanced capital allowances to the renting and leasing sector.”

To arrange an interview with a Bright Blue spokesperson or for further media enquiries, please contact Joseph Silke at joseph@brightblue.org.uk or on 07948 420 584.

 

[Image: Jan Antonin Kolar]