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UK government to provide a range of green funding initiatives

The UK government has announced a number of measures to spur the UK’s recovery from COVID-19 and meet the nation’s target of reaching net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, under a ‘Plan for Jobs’ policy paper published on 8 July 2020.

Measures include the introduction of a £2b Green Homes Grant, providing at least £2 for every £1 homeowners and landlords spend to make their homes more energy efficient, up to £5,000 per household. For those on the lowest incomes, the scheme will fully fund energy efficiency measures of up to £10,000 per household. According to the government, in total this could support over 100,000 green jobs and help strengthen a supply chain that will be vital for meeting the UK’s target of net zero GHG emissions by 2050. The scheme aims to upgrade over 600,000 homes across England, saving households hundreds of pounds per year on their energy bills.

Meanwhile, in support of the UK government’s Clean Growth Strategy
 which set out the government’s ambition to halve GHG emissions from the public sector by 2032, some £1bn is to be invested over the next year in a Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme that will offer grants to public sector bodies, including schools and hospitals, to fund both energy efficiency and low carbon heat upgrades.

It is also planned to provide £100mn of new funding for researching and developing direct air capture (DAC) carbon emissions reduction technologies.

In addition, building on the announcement last year of up to £1bn of additional funding to develop and embed the next generation of cutting-edge automotive technologies, the government is to make £10mn of funding available immediately for the first wave of innovative R&D projects to scale up manufacturing of the latest technology in batteries, motors, electronics and fuel cells. The government is also calling upon industry to put forward investment proposals for the UK’s first ‘gigafactory’ and supporting supply chains to mass manufacture cutting-edge batteries for the next generation of electric vehicles, as well as for other strategic electric vehicle technologies.

The government is also to invest up to £40mn in a Green Jobs Challenge Fund for environmental charities and public authorities to create and protect 5,000 jobs in England. The jobs will involve improving the natural environment, including planting trees, restoring habitats, clearing waterways, and creating green space for people and wildlife. 

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