Fresh on the heels of Boris Johnson's speech last week, we had a summer statement from the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak today. Last week's message was 'build, build, build' this week it is 'spend, spend' spend'.
The headline for the environment sector is ‘green jobs for green recovery’ what we are calling the ‘green print for growth’. There was a real focus on energy efficiency of our homes and properties. This is £5,000 per household or £10,000 for those from low income households to grants to cover up to two thirds of the cost of energy efficiency updates.
Furthermore, there is an extra £50 million for the decarbonisation of social housing. This could be that 650,000 homes to be made energy efficient.
This is to create local jobs for the green recovery, up to 140,000 over what period it remains to be seen.
Lastly, it was announced that £1 billion for energy efficiency of public buildings.
Overall £3 billion spending.
The measures take the equivalent of 270,000 cars off the road.
It is hoped that these measures will make us assess energy efficiency to cut carbon emissions. Whilst home insulation might not be a sexy message, it is an important one. The combination of this and jobs is not necessarily a new message as we have been hearing some of this message over the last few weeks, but what it does do is bring the environment to the heart of decision making and the recovery programme.
It is a long way from the ‘cut the green c***' from the previous administration and the reliance on fracking as a primary energy source.
It would have been nice for some of the levelling up to focus on renewable energy projects, but as the Shadow Chancellor said – we are assuming this will come in the Autumn budget. Or if not assuming – then we live in hope that this vital element of the ‘green print for a green recovery’ is on the cards.
This is all positive and a move in the right direction, but when viewed against the German government’s £36bn spend into climate change-cutting, economy-boosting measures and France' £13.5bn at tackling the climate emergency. £3bn doesn't seem to be in the right ball park for our 'world leading' green recovery.
The chancellor will seek to use Wednesday’s summer statement on the economy to fend off criticism that his proposals lack ambition by insisting that he can “kick start” an environment-friendly revival through the creation of thousands of green jobs in the construction industry.