Clean growth at heart of government industrial strategy
The UK government has identified clean growth as one of four ‘grand challenges’ facing the country in its industrial strategy published today.
It states that growth through low-carbon technologies and the efficient use of resources is one of the “greatest industrial opportunities of our time”, pledging to help businesses take advantage.
This will involve launching a new programme to develop world-leading smart energy systems that deliver cheaper and cleaner energy across power, heating and transport.
Incentives for investment in sustainable agriculture will be increased after the UK leaves the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy, while a new scheme will be launched to support the funding of industrial energy efficiency.
In addition, the government is working with the British Standards Institution and the City of London’s Green Finance Initiative to develop the world’s first green financial management standards.
“Two centuries ago it was our industrial revolution that led the world. Thirty years ago, it was our bold, pro-market reforms that set an example for others to follow. Today, our ambition is just as high,” prime minister, Theresa May, said.
The strategy highlights artificial intelligence, an ageing society, and the future of mobility as the three other key challenges, stating that the government wants the UK to be “the world’s most innovative nation by 2030”.
It sets a target to increase research and development investment from 1.7% of GDP to 2.4% by 2027, potentially raising an additional £80bn for advanced technology over the next decade.
As first announced in the chancellor’s autumn budget, the government has already committed £400m to the funding of charging points for electrical vehicles, and an extra £100m for the plug-in car grant.
There will also be £170m set aside to transform the construction sector, with the intention to create affordable places to live and work that are safer, healthier and use less energy.
“The industrial strategy can have a transformative impact on the UK’s economy, driving low-carbon innovation and the continued growth of jobs, skills and supply chains,” Aldersgate Group executive director, Nick Molho, said.
“Given UK strengths in industries such as offshore wind, ultra-low emission vehicles and low-carbon services, British businesses are among the best placed to capitalise on the growth of low-carbon opportunities and export markets."