This week, the British Government released its 10-point plan for a ‘green industrial revolution’ (you can read the press release, which was actually the only information available for the first 24 hours!). The plan claims to ‘mobilise £12 billion of government investment, and potentially 3 times as much from the private sector, to create and support up to 250,000 green jobs.’ By contrast, the Opposition asserts there is actually only £4 billion in new funding spread over several years, which compares unfavourably with the tens of billions in green stimulus proposed by France and Germany and other leading countries.
Perhaps the most notable announcement was to bring forward the date by which petrol and diesel cars would no longer be sold thereby effectively requiring consumers to buy electric vehicles (EVs) Norway, which is far ahead of any other country in terms of EV sales. Many Western European countries have adopted similar bans (from Norway in 2025 to Spain in 2040). Although Norway might seem like the most ambitious, in fact over 50% of new car registrations in Norway are EVs whereas outside of the Nordic countries (and Hong Kong), EVs make up less than 10% of new car sales and EV sales are not actually accelerating. By contrast, Norway has 15 different types of EV incentives. Sales are still sensitive to subsidies — Hong Kong EV sales fell from 2000 to 32 between 2016 and 2017 when subsidies were temporarily removed.
- Are you optimistic about the potential for a ‘green industrial revolution’ (whether in the UK or your own country)?
- Do you think a ten-point plan such as the one announced by the UK government can provide a pathway to transforming the economy?
- The government’s focus on a green industrial revolution has a particular focus on jobs and investment although historically, the environment and the economy are seen as being in conflict. Do you think that reformulating the green agenda in this way is effective because it changes the narrative or misleading because it conceals the inevitable tradeoffs that will be needed across different priorities
- What is your view of the bans being proposed for fossil-powered cars? Do you think that the 2030 (or similar) goal is an effective way of catalysing electric vehicles?