Britain’s next Net Zero flop

  • Date: 28/03/21
  • The Observer

The government has scrapped its flagship green homes grant scheme, the centrepiece of Boris Johnson’s promise to “build back greener” from the Covid-19 pandemic, just over six months after its launch.

The abandonment of the £1.5bn programme, which offered households grants of up to £5,000 or £10,000 to put in insulation or low-carbon heating, leaves the UK without a plan for tackling one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

People who have had their applications for vouchers under the scheme accepted will receive any money owed, but no new applications will be accepted after the end of this month.

Green campaigners said the scrapping of the programme – the only major green stimulus policy yet announced by the government and originally expected to create tens of thousands of green jobs – came as a serious blow as the government prepares to host vital UN climate talks, called Cop26, this November.

Ed Matthew, campaigns director at the E3G thinktank, told the Observer: “The demise of the green homes grant is an embarrassment [before Cop26], and a disaster in terms of the UK getting on track to net zero [carbon emissions]. Emissions from buildings and transport have flatlined over the last 10 years. If we don’t have programmes to tackle this, we have no hope of meeting the net zero target.”

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