Posted at Friday, 04 February, 2022

Mixed messages on Green investments - Government 10 point plan and ERIKS Solutions

Paul Skade
By Richard Ludlam
Marketing Manager

Intrigued by all things engineering, as a youngster I originally looked to understand how things work then, how to make them work better.

After time in eng...

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Listen to any interview with a Government spokesperson or, on the increasingly rare occasions they’re allowed to be interviewed, a Government Minister, and you’ll be deluged with statements about ‘world-beating’, ‘world-leading’ and ‘record’ levels of investment in everything from the NHS to transport infrastructure. This is especially true when it comes to the area of climate warming, renewables and green energy – subjects that are especially topical as the UK hosts the United Nations Climate Conference COP26.

Mixed messages on Green investments - Government 10 point plan and ERIKS Solutions

In many respects, the UK is leading the way in green technologies. For example, according to the trade body WindEurope, the UK invested over £11 billion in offshore wind in 2020, more than any other country in Europe. Meanwhile, the UK Government has published a 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution. This includes highlights such as £1 billion of funding for a Carbon Capture and Storage Infrastructure Fund, a £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, and a target of increasing investment in green research and development to 2.7% of GDP by 2027.

These are all laudable – and necessary – commitments. The devil, as the saying goes, is in the detail – or in this case, the delivery. Especially when there is often little of strategic substance underlying the headline- grabbing slogans and billion-pound numbers; when contradictory messaging starts to emerge from the same sources; or where conflicting data begins to be published by independent bodies.

As a counterpoint to the Government claims of record investment in green technologies, the TUC recently published research indicating that the UK is second to bottom amount G7 economies for its record of support for green investments and jobs. The report claims that, scaled by population, the UK’s green recovery investment plans are just 24% those of France, 21% of Canada, and 6% of the USA’s plans. The report also points out that the UK Treasury investing just £180 per person on green recovery and jobs over the next decade; by comparison, the USA plans to allocate £2,960 per person on green recovery, jobs and programmes such as public transport, electric vehicles and energy efficiency retrofits.

The contradictions don’t of course, end there. There has for example been considerable media coverage about the proposed oil exploration licences for the Cambo field near Shetland, while a public outcry over the environmental risks of a new coal mine in Cumbria resulted in confused Government messaging and U-turns. Mixed messaging can also be found around the scrapping of the feed-in subsidy for home installation of solar panels and the debacle of the Green Homes Grant, which was abruptly cancelled after 6 months.

This all leads to the inevitable conclusion that, in common with much Government strategy – and this applies to Governments of all colours – there is a distinct lack of joined-up thinking or long-term strategy. This is bad enough when it comes to areas such as healthcare, industry and education, where industry professionals are at least able to maintain a level of service despite inconsistent Government policies. However, when it comes to climate change, which requires coordinated, sustained and wide ranging national and international action, it is critical that the Government takes the lead with a clear vision and a long-term plan.

The Government’s 10-point plan is an excellent starting point. What is now needed is the leadership, vision and detailed planning to enable all of us – business and consumers alike – to make the day-to-day changes that collectively will deliver the vital reductions in emissions that are essential to save the planet. With the evidence of climate change growing every day, we no longer have time to spare.

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#ERIKS #LetsMakeIndustryWorkBetter #Engineering #Green #Investments #Energy #Greener

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