Boris Johnson will seek to bolster Britain’s clean energy credentials following a tricky UN climate crisis conference by announcing that all new buildings in England will be required to install charging points for electric vehicles from next year.
In a speech to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in the North East of England on Monday, the Prime Minister will reveal plans, which are being described as “world-leading”, to tighten the rules for new homes and buildings.
From next year, developers at sites such as supermarkets and office buildings will need to install charging points for electric vehicles, in an effort to help phase out the use of petrol and diesel cars before their sale ends in 2030. The government expects the move to lead to 145,000 new charging points every year.
Buildings undergoing renovations that provide them with more than 10 parking spaces will also be covered by the new measures.
Johnson announces the importance of clean energy just weeks after Britain hosted Cop26, and will say that the country is in a crucial moment, adding: “We can not continue as we are.”
He will tell business leaders that not only will public spending be used to “adapt our economy to the green industrial revolution”, but that the government will focus on investing in science and technology, raising productivity and “then getting away” . ”.
To defend the new demands, Johnson will add: “We must regulate less or better and take advantage of new freedoms.”
The government will also support a new £ 150m loan program, distributed by Innovate UK over three years, to help UK SMEs commercialize their latest research. The “innovation loans” will be available to a variety of sectors – including green companies – and will follow a pilot with companies.
An additional £ 9.4 million in funding has been confirmed for what Downing Street said was a first-of-its-kind hydrogen project in Britain’s largest onshore wind farm, near Glasgow. The money will go to Whitelee’s green hydrogen initiative to develop the country’s largest “electrolyser” – a system that converts water into hydrogen. It is used to store energy and supply local transport suppliers with carbon dioxide-free fuel.
As part of the government’s efforts to reach net zero by 2050, almost 26,000 publicly available charging units for electric vehicles have been installed – including 4,900 high-speed ones. A total of 250,000 points in homes and workplaces have already been put in place.
Ed Miliband, the shadow business secretary, accused the government of “betraying Britain’s car companies and workers”. He said: “Ministers have taken a step back, leaving manufacturers, workers and the general public on their own, without taking the necessary steps to make the change affordable for families affected by a cost-of-living crisis.
“By increasing the help to buy an electric car for those with lower and middle-income earners and speeding up the expansion of charging stations in areas that have been left out, [Labour] would ensure that everyone could benefit from and make the green transition fair. “
The Prime Minister’s climate spokesperson, Allegra Stratton, raised her eyebrows in August when she revealed that she was still driving a third-hand diesel. When asked why she did not drive an electric vehicle, she said: “I do not like it yet.”
Stratton, who lives in north London, said this was due to the length of time it took to travel to visit her father in the south of Scotland, her mother in Gloucestershire, her grandmother in north Wales and her in-laws in the Lake District.
But in October, just before the world leaders gathered for Cop26, Stratton revealed that she had left the diesel car.