Friday, 23 Oct 2020

Boris Johnson launches green revolution – new jobs in major revolution

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And he will claim that a massive push to “build back greener” in the economic recovery from the coronavirus emergency could create millions of hi-tech jobs. The Prime Minister is expected to say: “We need to give people the chance to train for the new jobs that are being created every day – in new technologies and new ways of doing things.” He is to pledge £160million for investment in building a new generation of wind turbines.

Mr Johnson will use his speech to face down Tory sceptics about the potential of wind power.

Rebuilding the country’s infrastructure to help the economy bounce back from the national lockdown could also be a catalyst for radical change, he is to argue.

“And there is one area where we are progressing quite literally with gale force speed and that is the green economy – the green industrial revolution that in the next 10 years will create hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs.”

Mr Johnson will tell his online audience: “I can today announce that the UK government has decided to become the world leader in low-cost clean power generation – cheaper than coal and gas – and we believe that in 10 years’ time offshore wind will be powering every home in the country, with our target rising from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts.

“You heard me right – your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, plug-in electric vehicle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly, and without guilt, from the breezes that blow around these islands.

“This investment in offshore wind alone will help to create 60,000 jobs in this country – and help us to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“We will invest £160million in ports and factories across the country, to manufacture the next generation of turbines.”

Under his plan, the £160million will be made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure in coastal communities such as Teesside and the Humber in northern England, Scotland and Wales.

The investment will aim to rapidly create around 2,000 construction jobs in the first phase of building new offshore wind farms.

By 2030, around 60,000 jobs could be supported in ports, factories and supply chains as a result.

Senior Tories believe that UK businesses, including many small firms, will then be well placed to win orders and further investment from energy companies around the world.

Mr Johnson’s speech came after he visited the London HQ of sustainable supplier Octopus Energy yesterday.

John Sauven, Greenpeace UK executive director, said it was “a great light bulb moment”.

He added: “We now need to see the PM’s new-found enthusiasm is followed through by knocking down all the barriers the offshore wind industry faces.”

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