Conservatives’ energy and climate policies: The Conservative Party has pledged to take action to lower energy bills for those in social housing as well as protect the environment and tackle climate change to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched the party’s manifesto in Telford over the weekend, which also sets out how he will “get Brexit done and unleash Britain’s potential”.
He said: “It is appropriate of course that we are here in Telford because here more than 200 years ago, the phlegethontian fires that created the first industrial revolution and this whole region was a giant crucible in which colossal quantities of hydrocarbons were burned to smelt iron and steel and turn water into steam and power and it is an incredible thing that here once again in the West Midlands.
“A new industrial revolution is taking place, not by burning coal, not by emitting CO2 but thanks to British ingenuity we can make electrons swoosh so efficiently from anode to the cathode, or possibly vice versa, but that’s the right idea.”
The party has committed to keep the existing energy price cap and invest £6.3 billion to improve the energy efficiency of 2.2 million disadvantaged homes, which it claims will help reduce their energy bills by as much as £750 a year.
Two schemes will be implemented:
A £3.8 billion Social Housing Decarbonisation Scheme, which will focus on improving the insulation provided in two million social homes, expected to reduce their energy bills by an average of £160 a year
A £2.5 billion Homes Upgrade Grants scheme, which will replace boilers, provide insulation and in some cases, replace energy systems. Around 200,000 homes will be upgraded, claimed to provide annual savings of £750 a year on average. It will cover the costs up to £12,000 and apply to fuel poor households, both private and social with poor energy efficiency.
The £1 billion Ayrton Fund will be used to develop affordable and accessible clean energy “that will improve lives” and help lead the world in tackling climate change.
The manifesto pledged to work with the market to deliver two million new jobs in clean growth, invest £800 million to build the first fully deployed carbon capture and storage (CCS) cluster by the mid-2020s and invest £500 million to help energy intensive industries move to low carbon techniques.
It will also support new floating wind farms, gas from hydrogen production and nuclear energy, including fusion, alongside its commitment to renewable energy.
The party has pledged not to support fracking “unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely”.
It has pledged to reach net zero by 2050 “by building on our superb global reputation for action” to protect the environment and fight climate change.
The party is also committing to ban plastic waste exports outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Developing (OECD) to reduce the environmental impact on the oceans as well as developing countries that don’t have the capacity to handle it properly.
It will introduce extended producer responsibility so producers pay the full costs of dealing with the waste they produce and boost domestic recycling.
Its manifesto confirms the new Office for Environmental Protection and its own legal targets, including for air quality and penalties for fly-tipping will be increased while those on community sentences will be made to clean up their parks and streets.
A deposit return scheme will also be introduced to incentivise people to recycle plastic and glass.
The party will launch a new £640 million Nature for Climate fund to help reach the net zero goal, create new National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and restore the nation’s peatland.
The party has committed to invest £1 billion in completing a fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) to ensure everyone is within 30 miles of a rapid charging station.
It will consult on the earliest date the UK can phase out the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars.
It will also invest in electric buses, with the aim of developing the UK’s first all-electric bus town and create a new £350 million Cycling Infrastructure Fund with mandatory design standards for new routes.
The party says no new public money will be provided for a third runway at Heathrow Airport and new technology will be used to cut the time aircraft spend waiting to land, reducing delays and noise pollution.
It has pledged to support the creating of new types of homes that have low energy bills and which support the UK’s environmental targets.
Innovative design and technology will be encouraged for “homes for the future” and all new streets will be expected to be lined with trees.
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