Treasury announces package of green recovery measures including £1bn for schools and hospitals
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Summer Economic Update to Parliament today, including a range of green measures to support economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19.
Dubbed a ‘Plan for Jobs’, the Chancellor’s update included a £1bn pot for energy efficiency upgrades in public sector organisations, and a £2 billion Green Homes Grant. The Chancellor said the grant would support over 100,000 green jobs for local tradespeople to make homes warmer, cheaper to heat and more environmentally friendly.
The green policy announcements at a glance:
- A £1 billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme that will offer grants to public sector bodies, including schools and hospitals, to fund both energy efficiency and low carbon heat upgrades.
- A £40 million Green Jobs Challenge Fund for environmental charities and public authorities to create and protect 5,000 jobs in England. The Chancellor said the jobs will involve improving the natural environment, including planting trees, restoring habitats, clearing waterways, and creating green space for people and wildlife.
- Direct Air Capture – £100 million of new funding for researching and developing Direct Air Capture, a new clean technology which captures CO2 from the air.
- An Automotive Transformation Fund – Building on the announcement last year of up to £1 billion of additional funding to develop and embed the next generation of cutting-edge automotive technologies, the government is making £10 million of funding available immediately for the first wave of innovative R&D projects to scale up manufacturing of the latest technology in batteries, motors, electronics and fuel cells. The government also said it is also calling upon industry to put forward investment proposals for the UK’s first ‘gigafactory’ and supporting supply chains to mass manufacture cutting-edge batteries for the next generation of electric vehicles, as well as for other strategic electric vehicle technologies.
- Courts sustainability – an investment of £40 million to improve the environmental sustainability of the courts and tribunals estate in England and Wales, investing in initiatives to reduce energy and water usage.
- A £2 billion Green Homes Grant – providing at least £2 for every £1 homeowners and landlords spend to make their homes more energy efficient, up to £5,000 per household. For those on the lowest incomes, the scheme will fully fund energy efficiency measures of up to £10,000 per household. The scheme aims to upgrade over 600,000 homes across England, saving households hundreds of pounds per year on their energy bills.
- A Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund – to help social landlords improve the least energy-efficient social rented homes, starting with a £50 million demonstrator project in 2020-21 to decarbonise social housing.