Ashden responds to UK government announcement

Commitment to carbon emissions reduction is great – but where is the plan?

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Ashden CEO Harriet Lamb has responded to the UK government announcement of an ambitious reduction in carbon emissions, saying: “just make it happen!”

“We welcome the government goal of reducing UK emissions by at least 78% by 2030. And we’re saying to government – please show us the plan.”

“To cut emissions, we need stable, long term, funded policies and plans including to tackle priorities such as buildings and heating. For example, they could start with a plan to support schools to decarbonise, and fulfil their ambitions to be  green community champions. Then they could provide  the resources to colleges and apprenticeship programmes for training in green skills – we can only  get to zero carbon if people are trained in how to install  heat pumps and retrofit buildings.

Ashden published a briefing on 29 March – ‘Green skills: training UK workers for tomorrow’s job market’ – in which it called for a revolution in green skills training, in response to the UK government’s announcement that it has scrapped its flagship green homes grant scheme.

Ashden consulted 20 experts across the low carbon heat and retrofit sector about this issue and launched a green skills award to uncover best practice across the UK. The scoping confirmed that funding for green skills training is too low, too short-term, and not local enough.

Recommendations from the Ashden Green Skills briefing are:

The government should undertake long-term and consistent investment in green skills, creating security for businesses, colleges and workers:

Steps to create demand

  • Confirm the funding for retrofit and low carbon heat activity. The forthcoming Buildings and Heat Strategy is an opportunity to outline how and when the government will bring forward further funding to deliver retrofitting as a national infrastructure priority.
  • Establish long term, consistent financial support and incentives to encourage private retrofitting. These could include green mortgages, a fiscally neutral variable stamp duty land tax for more efficient homes, and a revolving loan fund and/or low-cost finance for home energy retrofitting.
  • Ensure energy efficiency stipulations in building and property sales regulations that increase demand for green skills and jobs.
  • Ensure price parity of gas and electricity, or cheaper electricity, incentivising heat pump roll out.

See full briefing here: Green skills briefing – Ashden

Image credit: Low Carbon Hub

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