Public Affairs
Environment news: 4th September

Greenhouse Public Affairs provides a weekly public affairs environment news round-up across sectors including energy, transport and the environment. Sign up to our public affairs weekly round-up here.

Environment and COP26

The BEIS department has launched a consultation to support marine renewables (including floating offshore wind, wave, and tidal lagoons) in the UK. This builds on a recently concluded Contracts for Difference scheme, exploring how we might support emerging renewable technologies which are still at a pre-commercial stage of development but have good potential to reduce their costs over time. You can submit evidence and views here.

DEFRA has published details on the Air Quality Grant 2020-1, providing funding to eligible local authorities to help improve air quality. Since it was established, the Air Quality Grant scheme has awarded around £64.5 million to a variety of projects, contributing to the significant improvement in air quality seen in the UK in recent decades. This latest grant of £2 million is looking to develop solutions over the longer term by increasing awareness and encouraging behaviour change. Read more details here.

Energy

The government is to review its policy on the future UK offshore oil & gas licensing regime, to help reach net-zero by 2050. The review will ensure the government’s future oil and gas production in the UK is aligned with tackling climate change. Initial findings and next steps will be published in the upcoming Energy White Paper. Over half of the UK’s electricity now comes from clean sources including wind and solar energy. Read more about the review here.

Homeowners and landlords can track the government’s new Green Homes Grant scheme to help make their homes warmer and more energy efficient, on a new personalised website. The site offers a quick energy survey for consumers to see how energy efficient their homes already are, and where improvements can be made. The Green Home Grants scheme will allow consumers to obtain funding for two-thirds of the cost of energy saving measures. Read more about the announcement here.

Transport

Chair of the CCC, Lord Deben, has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak about the vehicle excise duty consultation. The CCC sees these changes as a vital step forward in tackling greenhouse gas emissions from surface transport, now the biggest single sectoral source in the UK. The letter recommends strong incentives to manufacturers to continue to improve efficiency and to consumers to buy vehicles with lower emissions. Read the full letter here.

The Local Government Association has published a briefing on decarbonising transport. The briefing is designed to help councils set goals for reducing carbon emissions from transport and understanding a range of key options available to them to make the rapid progress required. It calls on local authorities to set transparent and traceable transport targets for CO2 emissions. Read the full briefing here.

The Local Government Association has published an additional briefing on accelerating the uptake of electric vehicles. A study has demonstrated that, with existing purchase incentives, the total cost of owning and running an EV over its whole life is already lower than an equivalent petrol vehicle. However concerns remain about whether batteries have sufficient range, which many believe to be the main obstacle to uptake. Read the full briefing here.

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