Rishi Sunak is to announce a £3bn package of green investment to decarbonise public buildings and cut emissions from households in Britain that are poorly insulated as part of the government’s Covid-19 financial recovery plan.
The chancellor will seek to use Wednesday’s summer statement on the economy to fend off criticism that his proposals lacks motivation and innovation by insisting that he can “kick start” an environment-friendly restoration through the creation of thousands of green jobs.
It is rumoured that Sunak will use the extra money for decarbonising houses, schools, hospitals, prisons and military bases, which will help the UK meet its net zero carbon emissions target by 2050. The Treasury said the summer statement was about “securing the recovery” and would be followed by two bigger events, which would be revealed later in the year.
Of the £3bn, the chancellor will allocate £1bn to improve the insulation and energy efficiency of public buildings and to invest in renewable heating technology. In addition to this, Rishi Sunak is due to set out a £2bn grant scheme in England for projects such as wall and loft insulation.
Sunak will also announce £50m to pilot new methods to retrofitting social housing at scale to make them greener, through measures like renewable heat pumps, insulation and double glazing, which the Treasury said would support landlords to improve the least energy efficient social rented homes in England.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Business Secretary Alok Sharma added that the poorest households could receive up to £10,000 towards costs, and that double glazing would also be covered by the scheme.
Green campaigners are waiting to see whether the chancellor will unveil spending closer to the government’s £9.2bn manifesto commitment when he delivers his update on Wednesday. If much greater ambition is not forthcoming, it is likely that campaigners will brand the government’s attempts at a green recovery as a failure.
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