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Boris Johnson’s 10-point climate plan

Published December 1, 2020

Boris Johnson’s 10-point climate plan

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK, has announced a 10-point plan to tackle the climate crisis, a part of which is focused on banning the sale of combustion engines in vehicles by 2030, ten years earlier than previously planned.

The plan shall also see hybrid cars off the market by 2035 and a switch to all-electric.

In a comment for the Independent, Dr Jonathan Marshall, head of analysis at the non-profit Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), said, “As the second largest car market in Europe, an early UK phase-out date will cause ripples well beyond our national borders.”

With much of the pollution in the UK coming from transport, the government shall also invest £1.3bn to advance the infrastructure, including charge points, for electric vehicles in a push to reduce emissions and accelerate the transition.

“Yes, it’s fuel switching, and most consumers prefer electric, but this only works if you improve the renewable output to electricity,” said Nick Fedson, Sustainability Analyst at Alfa Energy Group.

Johnson’s plan puts more of an emphasis elsewhere, neglecting to mention renewable energy sources such as onshore wind and solar. Instead, he pledges £200m to help boost carbon capture technology and £525m towards the development of small and larger-scale nuclear plants. The plan also includes a previous pledge to quadruple offshore wind power.

As the new measures begin to roll in, companies will have to make the switch to EVs in their fleets before the phase-out, and they will need support to do so.

Support with EV charging will involve providing quotations from reputable providers to install and manage charging points, assistance with power connections, and arranging for EVs to be charged via a solar PV system.

Some of the other points in the plan are: generating 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030; having a town heated solely by hydrogen by the end of the decade; promoting cycling and walking as means of public transport; helping to decarbonise air and shipping; making homes and public buildings more efficient; protecting and restoring nature; and developing new technologies.

“The plan announced by the government demonstrates how serious they are about the 2050 net zero target,” said Nikki Wilson, Carbon Compliance Manager at Alfa Energy Group, “Alfa can support our clients by designing a net zero strategy to suit their requirements over the medium- and long-term. Once the strategy is in place, we can then support the implementation.”