By MP David Duguid
For those taking practical measures to address issues of true global importance, the UK is the torchbearer, not least for action on climate change.
Glasgow will host the widely awaited joint UK-Italy UN Conference on Climate Change, COP26, this November. This will be the first time in the UK a Police summit has been held, and the 12-day gathering will be one of Scotland’s biggest ever.
If we try to escape the disastrous warming of our world that contributes to severe weather events – droughts and related fires, flooding rains and deadly floods, storms of terrifying ferocity and increasing frequency – the stakes could not be higher.
But the seeds of hope and realistic solutions lie in this critical meeting of world leaders, as concrete, feasible progress towards net-zero emissions with an accelerated timetable is at the heart of COP26 – and at the heart of our global economic recovery.
The UK government is not waiting to start taking action at the meeting. His 10-point blueprint for a green industrial revolution has already been laid out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It’s audacious, it’s optimistic – but it’s also actionable, detailing real measures that will get us closer to our pledge to achieving zero net emissions by 2050. In making this promise, we became the first major economy. For those of us who recognize that we are now just custodians of this precious world, it was very inspiring to see China, Japan and Korea shift and declare their own commitments. Not only is the 10-point plan intended to enact our ambitious environmental agenda, but it is also a blueprint for job growth and recovery after the pandemic. It leverages 12 billion pounds of government spending to prime the pumps by 2030 for three times as much investment from the private sector. It has the opportunity to support 250,000 high-skilled U.K. Jobs in the U.K. for the next 10 years Using revolutionary technology that can change our climate, the economy moves to cheap, renewable energy and greener transport.
Scotland is at the forefront of this initiative, not least in the area of offshore wind, with the aim of quadrupling the output of electricity to 40 GW by 2030. That’s enough electricity to fuel every home in the UK, for comparison. Of course, impressive, but that’s not all. Up to 60,000 new green jobs are projected to be generated in the process.
Jet Zero can help decarbonization initiatives by the aviation industry, though technology can also make our maritime industry greener. With feasibility studies in key locations such as Orkney and Teeside, £ 20 million has been allocated to a competition to improve clean maritime technology. Although building a safer, more prosperous future for our companies and people, we are making progress toward the significant net zero goal.
By pushing the uptake of electric cars for private use, advising on the phasing out of diesel trucks, exploring the use of hydrogen as a renewable and safe fuel for power generation and reinforcing the role of small-scale nuclear power, we are shaking up public transport.
Technologies that are energy-efficient will not only make our homes, hospitals and public spaces warmer, but also greener and generate 50,000 jobs. By 2028, we plan to install 600,000 heat pumps each year to wean us away from fossil-fuel boilers. As a household fuel, we are also exploring how hydrogen could play a role.
We also plan to make the UK a pioneer in green finance and grow our carbon capture expertise to the point that, by 2030, we can capture 10 megatons of carbon dioxide.
To accomplish this, we are ideally put. In this path to a safer and greener future, our oil and gas industry has an important part to play. They have an established track record of designing and successfully deploying cutting edge technologies. Supporting the energy transition would help ensure that their experience, while ensuring energy efficiency, fuels the production of low-carbon energy solutions.
This change started with the announcement on