Ex­tra £14b a year needed for UK cli­mate, re­port says

Iran Daily - - Cultural Heritage & Environmen­t -

An ex­tra £14 bil­lon is needed each year to help the UK meet its cli­mate com­mit­ments, a new think tank re­port sug­gests.

Green Al­liance said the cash is needed for clean trans­port, na­ture restora­tion, and low-car­bon build­ings, BBC wrote.

Over the past three years, it said that £9 bil­lion has been spent on projects that ac­tu­ally in­crease CO2, like roads.

It comes as large UK firms make a prom­ise to “kick-start a new ap­proach” and “put the en­vi­ron­ment first”.

The Green Al­liance think tank in­sists though that the fund­ing is­sue must be solved in the prime min­is­ter’s eco­nomic re­cov­ery speech ex­pected on Tuesday.

Its cal­cu­la­tions are based on the gov­ern­ment’s own as­sess­ment of ma­jor projects in the pipe­line re­leased on June 16.

The gov­ern­ment said it is de­ter­mined to meet car­bon tar­gets, but the re­port draws at­ten­tion to min­is­ters’ plans to spend £28 bil­lion on roads.

Green Al­liance said they could close 60 per­cent of the dis­par­ity be­tween high-car­bon and low-car­bon spend­ing by shift­ing in­vest­ment from roads to­wards non-pol­lut­ing in­fra­struc­ture such as bike lanes.

The au­thors cast doubt on whether the gov­ern­ment should spend any more money at all on projects that in­crease CO2 emis­sions.

Chris Ven­ables, head of pol­i­tics at Green Al­liance, said of Tuesday’s ex­pected speech: “This is a once in a gen­er­a­tion op­por­tu­nity for the prime min­is­ter to cre­ate the foun­da­tions of a health­ier, more re­silient econ­omy.

“For ‘Project Speed’ (the prime min­is­ter’s in­fra­struc­ture re­view) to be suc­cess­ful, it must be the most am­bi­tious cli­mate in­fra­struc­ture project ever, cre­at­ing jobs in ev­ery cor­ner of the UK.

“It can’t mean a bon­fire of reg­u­la­tions lock­ing in pol­lut­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for decades to come.”

The re­port sup­ports anal­y­sis by the Trades Union Congress defin­ing the best value for money from job-cre­at­ing schemes. Road-build­ing was judged poorly.

The cal­cu­la­tions judge projects based on jobs cre­ated per pound of pub­lic in­vest­ment.

Best value are said to be: Retrofitti­ng build­ings and cre­at­ing cy­cle lanes, which are given a score of 20.

Elec­tric fer­ries, bat­tery fac­to­ries and re­for­esta­tion score 19; de­car­boniz­ing in­dus­try, new elec­tric UK buses, 18; and up­grad­ing rail­ways, in­stalling elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ers, and en­vi­ron­men­tal restora­tion, 17.

Broad­band ex­pan­sion scores 15, but road-build­ing, by com­par­i­son, scores just 10.

In a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view for BBC News, Au­to­mo­bile As­so­ci­a­tion (AA) Pres­i­dent

Ed­mund King en­dorsed the role of broad­band.

He told BBC News: “Ar­guably in fu­ture, we should in­vest more in broad­band (than new roads), be­cause what this cri­sis has shown is that the ma­jor­ity of com­pa­nies can con­tinue work­ing from home, and it can be more ef­fi­cient.”

Mean­while, the gov­ern­ment is fac­ing le­gal ac­tion from a group com­plain­ing that road plans are in­com­pat­i­ble with cli­mate ob­jec­tives.

An­drew Ado­nis, for­mer head of the Na­tional In­fra­struc­ture Com­mis­sion told BBC News: “We need to tackle bot­tle­necks in the road sys­tem but it is vi­tal we pro­mote a long-term shift to low car­bon trans­port.

“The coali­tion agree­ment for the new Ir­ish gov­ern­ment in­cludes a 2-1 split for all fu­ture trans­port cap­i­tal spend­ing to be on pub­lic trans­port and cy­cling rather than roads. We should con­sider do­ing the same in the UK.”

A gov­ern­ment spokesper­son said: “The prime min­is­ter has been clear that the UK should have the most am­bi­tious en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­gram of any coun­try on earth.

“The ac­tions we are tak­ing to achieve our zero emis­sions tar­get will help to de­liver a stronger, cleaner, more sus­tain­able and more re­silient econ­omy af­ter this pan­demic — and al­ready there are over 460,000 UK jobs in low car­bon busi­nesses and their sup­ply chains.”

ALAMY

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