The UK government has issued its plan for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy through the 2020s. The strategy aims to show "how the whole country can benefit from low carbon opportunities, while meeting national and international commitments to tackle climate change." The paper also states that progress towards developing a more sustainable economy means that there are now more than 430,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains in the UK.
The strategy represents an important milestone in the UK’s plan for decarbonisation. It sets out for the first time how over £2.5bn will be invested by the government to support low carbon technologies and innovation from until 2021. The National Productivity Investment Fund will provide an additional £4.7 billion, with an extra £2bn a year by 2020, representing the largest increase in public spending on UK science, research and innovation for over 35 years. Notably in 2016, 47% of UK electricity came from low carbon sources. This is around double the level in 2010, thanks in part to the UK currently having the largest installed offshore wind capacity in the world.
The government appears to be pledging its commitment to clean growth. During the on-going Brexit negotiations, will research and innovation continue with European partners unhindered?