Greenpeace UK has published a detailed green recovery plan for the government as it looks to revive the economy following the impact of COVID-19.
A Green Recovery: How We Get There, published on 4 June, set out a range of actions to take across four priority areas of clean transport, green buildings, smart power, and nature and a circular economy. In order to obtain the full economic, social and environmental benefits of the package – such as hundreds of thousands of new jobs and putting the UK on track to hit net zero emissions by 2045 – Greenpeace said actions across the four areas must be delivered simultaneously, explaining they should be viewed as “intertwined”.
Offshore wind should become the backbone of the UK’s future energy system, which would require at least 40GW of total capacity by 2030, while the manifesto further called for government to back a thriving onshore wind and solar sector to reignite domestic supply chains and increase local access to clean, affordable power. As well as greater renewable energy, the grid will also have to be upgraded to ensure a smart flexible energy system. BEIS and the Treasury should set ambitious targets and stimulate routes to market for renewable hydrogen, interconnection, battery storage and demand-side response.
This upgraded grid would play a key role in supporting a future electric transport system, the manifesto explained, with recommended policy measures for transport itself including a more rapid transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. Elsewhere, it called for a nationwide home and public sector energy efficiency programme to set the UK on a path towards greener buildings, while halving the use of single-use plastics by 2025 and properly funded programmes to plant at least 700mn trees were recommended measures to support nature and a circular economy.