Plans to support tens of thousands of green jobs with a package of measures worth over £3 billion were unveiled by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, as part of a drive to power up the nation’s workforce and protect the environment.
Rishi Sunak has announced green schemes that will help to create thousands of jobs in industries such as construction as part of the Government’s “New Deal” to build jobs and help to kickstart the economy following the pandemic – building it back greener.
This is expected to include a transformative £1 billion programme to make public buildings, including schools and hospitals, across the UK greener, helping the country meet its ambitions of achieving Net Zero by 2050, whilst investing in our future prosperity.
This is alongside the £5 billion investment plan announced by the Prime Minister in last week’s “New Deal” speech to maintain vital public infrastructure, which will see new school buildings and upgrading public sector property, like hospitals.
Sunak also unveiled £50 million to pilot innovative approaches to retrofitting social housing at scale to make them greener, through measures like heat pumps, insulation and double glazing, which will support landlords to improve the least energy efficient social rented homes in England.
Social housing tenants are more likely to report that they struggle to meet their fuel costs. This move will mean warmer homes and could lower annual energy bills by an average of £200 for some of these poorest households, as well as lower carbon emissions.
Heating buildings accounts for almost a fifth of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and this decarbonisation programme will be crucial in moving the country closer to reaching Net Zero.
Ensuring the country’s economic recovery is as green as possible, up to 5,000 new jobs will also be backed through a £40 million scheme, the Green Jobs Challenge Fund, to support environmental charities and local authorities to work on projects to improve England’s treasured landscapes, such as planting trees, cleaning up rivers, and creating new green spaces for people and wildlife.
This is part of the Prime Minister’s pledge to safeguard the UK’s natural carbon stores and wildlife habitats – our meadows, rivers, and local green spaces – protecting precious biodiversity, and connecting people with nature.