The biggest green news this week has been the government’s new Low Carbon Transition Plan, revealed on Wednesday. Key points include that, by 2020:
- more than 1.2 million people will have green jobs
- 7 million homes will have had green makeovers
- 40% of electricity will be from renewable sources, nuclear or clean coal
- gas imported will be halved
- cars will emit 40% less carbon than they do now
- carbon emissions are to be reduced by 34% of levels in 1990.
It also said the average household energy bill will be £92 more per year by then.
So, what’s everyone made of it?
The green sphere has sounded positive notes. WWF said: “This is possibly the first time a UK Government has shown it is serious about this issue”. However, there are criticisms from all camps.
Friends of the Earth was disappointed the government said it would only reduce carbon emissions to 34% of 1990 levels instead of the 40% it was advised to commit to.
Greenpeace said that expecting us to make “smarter choices” on transport and the obsession with green driving “puts the onus on us as individuals, rather than pushing forward a wholesale rethink of transport that’s so desperately needed.”
And WWF said the government has not provided the necessary incentives to make investors turn away from coal and move towards low carbon, green energy.
I think that some of the measures laid out in the plan, like “pumping up [car] tyres and driving at an appropriate speed, meaning less fuel is burned”, are a little pathetic weighted against the sheer number of cars on the road and the number of planes in the sky. Efforts to reduce both of these seem only a tiny part of the transition plan.