The LI welcomes the PM’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution. The LI has called for a Green Recovery from COVID-19, and this is an important step – but the scale and urgency of the climate and nature crises require even greater ambition.

Climate-resilient garden in a London Housing estate. Image: Lucy Millson-Watkins

The Prime Minister today set out his ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, which will purportedly create and support up to 250,000 British jobs. Up to £12 billion of government investment will be used to invest in the green economy.

Covering clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies, this blueprint aims to push the UK towards net zero, particularly in the run up to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next year.

This and other recent government initiatives are all positive and important steps, many of which echo some of the asks of our recent Greener Recovery paper. But we need to do more if we are to set a credible course towards net zero emissions, while also creating healthy and climate-resilient places.

The plan focusses on technological and speculative solutions, missing a huge opportunity to put nature-based solutions at the forefront

The new plan focusses on technological and speculative solutions, such as carbon capture, nuclear, and hydrogen. But it misses a huge opportunity to put nature-based solutions at the forefront. To meet the UK’s climate obligations, we must prioritise making the most of the places we’ve already got, including green retrofitting. Properly maintaining the nation’s assets is as important as investing in them in the first place, yet the majority of our green infrastructure is lacking investment.

Parks and green spaces are pivotal in helping to build our resilience to climate change: cooling our cities, stopping air pollution and reducing health inequalities. There are projects that are both ‘shovel-worthy’ as well as ‘shovel-ready’, and a huge number of existing places are in dire need of funding. The LI- and Parks Alliance-led Parks and Green Space Network believes that an annual investment of £1bn over the next five years would ensure both new and existing green spaces deliver for people, place and nature.

Read more: A Green Recovery for Parks and Green Spaces.

We look forward to working with the Government to shape the details of this new blueprint and align it with other national priorities, including the Environment Bill and proposed planning reforms.

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