The cost of change



In a bid to tackle pollution levels, the UK will spend £1 billion to encourage the uptake of electric and other ultra-low-emission vehicles.



In a bid to tackle pollution levels, the UK will spend £1 billion to encourage the uptake of electric and other ultra-low-emission vehicles.

The financial injection was announced as part of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy (CGS), which will support Britain’s efforts to meet its climate-change targets.

The Clean Growth Strategy, which details government spending between 2015 and 2021, includes heavy investment in science, research and innovation to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Around 900 million pounds will be spent on innovation.

The CGS also targets public transport. The plug-in Taxi programme will receive £50m, which will enable taxi drivers to be given up to £7,500 off the price of an ultra-low-emission cab.

A further £14m will help 10 local areas deliver dedicated charge points for taxis, while £100m will be spent on a traditional programme of support for retrofitting and new low-emission buses in England and Wales.

In July, the government said it would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040.

Britain has a legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, blamed for global warming, by 80 per cent by 2050 compared with 1990.

However, with many of the cheaper and easier emissions reductions completed, the government said it would “not be easy” to meet its targets.

The government is also hoping to encourage people to make walking or cycling the natural choice for shorter journeys, and will invest £1.2 billion to improve supporting infrastructure.

In her foreword for the CGS, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “This government is determined to leave our natural environment in a better condition than we found it.

“Clean growth is not an option but a duty we owe to the next generation, and economic growth has to go hand in hand with greater protection for our forests and beaches, clean air and places of outstanding natural beauty.

“The government will help British businesses and entrepreneurs to seize the opportunities which the global low-carbon economy presents, from electric vehicles to offshore wind.

“Success in this mission will improve our quality of life and increase our economic prosperity.
“It will mean cleaner air, lower energy bills, greater economic security and a natural environment protected and enhanced for the future.”


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