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Blog Post 19 November 2021

Ten Point Plan: what progress has been made in the first year?

This week marks one year since UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out his Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution; outlining ambitions in clean energy, low carbon transport and homes, and more.

The plan projected to help the UK reach its net zero emissions target by 2050, with a total of £12 billion set aside to create and support up to 250,000 green jobs across the country.

We welcomed the plan last year as a “robust first step in the right direction to support the UK achieving a net zero society by 2050”. To mark its anniversary, we decided to find out what progress has been made on three of the points now that key policies and strategies have been announced since, including the Heat and Buildings and Net Zero strategies and the Budget and Spending Review.

Point 4: Accelerating the shift to zero emission vehicles

The Ten Point plan says: Backing our world-leading car manufacturing bases including in the West Midlands, North East and North Wales to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, and transforming our national infrastructure to better support electric vehicles.

Progress: The UK Government has now agreed to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030, 10 years earlier than planned. The sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive a significant distance with no tailpipe carbon emissions will be allowed to continue until 2035, at which point all new vehicles sold in the UK will be fully electric.

As part of the Ten Point Plan, £500 million was committed to grow the electrification of the UK automotive sector alongside a £1.3 billion investment to accelerate the roll out of charging infrastructure, with a focus on rapid chargepoints on motorways and major roads. In addition, Government committed to installing more on-street electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints near homes and workplaces to make charging as easy as refuelling a petrol or diesel car.

Eight months after the Ten Point Plan, in July 2021, the Government published its Transport Decarbonisation Plan for England, providing a roadmap for how the transport sector will decarbonise over the coming years. This included a world-leading intention to phase out sales of new diesel and petrol HGVs by 2040, subject to consultation – a commitment that was confirmed during COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.

Additionally, the recently published Net Zero Strategy included several transport commitments, including an extra £350 million to support the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains and another £620 million for targeted EV grants and infrastructure, particularly local on-street residential chargepoints. The ambition is to put thousands more zero emission cars and vans onto UK roads through a zero-emission vehicle mandate.

Point 5: Green public transport, cycling and walking

The Ten Point Plan says: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel and investing in zero-emission public transport of the future.

Progress: In accelerating the transition to more active and sustainable transport, the Ten Point Plan included proposals to invest in rail and bus services, and measures to help pedestrians and cyclists. Plans were set out to deliver over 1,000 miles of safe and direct cycling and walking networks by 2025, build thousands of miles of segregated cycle lanes, and cycling supported by a national programme to increase the uptake of electric bikes.

The first of six pillars in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan focuses on ‘accelerating a modal shift to public and active transport’, with the government also promising to look into place-based solutions, to consider how and why emissions occur in specific locations.

The Net Zero Strategy and the Comprehensive Spending Review also raised the ambition on active and sustainable transport. These new commitments set the pace for change in leading the way to net zero, including the ambition for half of all journeys in towns and cities to be completed by either walking or cycling by 2030, with £2 billion of funding allocated to achieve this goal.

Point 7: Greener buildings

The Ten Point Plan says: Making our homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient, while creating 50,000 jobs by 2030, and a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.

Progress: Homes and buildings are a key target area for decarbonisation in the UK, with the country’s 29 million homes accounting for around 22% of total carbon emissions. The commitment in the Ten Point Plan to make our buildings more energy efficient and move away from fossil fuel boilers was welcome, however, detail on how this will be achieved was lacking.

The eagerly anticipated Heat and Buildings Strategy was published in October, against a background of rising gas prices and fuel supply issues that put a spotlight on our current dependency on fossil fuels for heating our homes, fuelling our vehicles and generating electricity. The ambitions of the strategy look to the phasing out of our reliance on fossil fuels for heating and outline the provision of support for people transitioning to low carbon heat via heat pumps.

Upgrading gas boilers with heat pumps and growing heat networks are both needed for the UK to reach its net zero targets by 2050. The detailed roadmap of how these changes will be achieved is not yet clear. There is further consultation to come from the UK government on actions that will complement the Boiler Upgrade Scheme which is a good start but will not deliver changes we need on its own. This is important, because getting the roll out of low carbon heat right and improving the energy efficiency of homes will provide opportunities for local jobs and investment that will make a significant contribution to building back better and to levelling up opportunities for people and businesses across the UK.

Further commitments were made in the Net Zero Strategy, including support for society’s most vulnerable through energy bill discounts and insulation upgrades. An allocation of £800 million to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will help social housing providers improve the energy performance of their homes, while the revised Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme will help to improve the energy efficiency of low-income homes.

A welcome point in the Net Zero Strategy was the ambition to create a government-led home energy advice journey, supported by enhanced sustainable energy advice for England. We have seen how effective advice provision in Scotland and Wales has been in supporting households to make informed choices on home energy efficiency improvements and are keen to see this concept introduced in England.

Last updated: 19 November 2021