Conservatives unveil “ambitious” net zero package

The Conservative Party has pledged increased investment in electric vehicles (EV) and the construction of a new fusion power plant as part of a new net zero package.

Unveiled 28 September, the package promises £1bn of new automotive industry investment to support EV R&D and supply chain development, along with funding for new green spaces throughout the UK. This includes further “pocket parks” and the creation of a Great Northumberland Forest where 1mn trees will be planted by 2024.

The package has also earmarked an initial £220mn investment into the development phase of a nuclear fusion power plant. These funds would go into the first five-year development phase of the Spherical Tokamak for Energy production (STEP), with the station planned to have been built by 2040.

The Conservatives also revealed interim regulations on the Future Homes Standard will come into effect from 2020. The Future Homes Standard aims to ensure “world leading” energy efficiency in homes from 2025, with requirements of building regulations set to be raised to meet necessary standards.

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: “I want new homes to play their part in tackling climate change and leaving the environment in a better way for future generations. That’s why I am introducing a Future Homes Standard which ensures that no new home is built from 2025 without the best levels of energy efficiency and low or zero carbon heating. And because I want to lead the world in this area, I am implementing the first steps on this revolutionary road as early as next year.”