Thank you for contacting me about the Prime Minister's comments about motorists.
The Prime Minister is rightly committed to supporting motorists. The vast majority of people in the UK use their cars to get around and are dependent on their cars. Latest estimates show that in 2021, 91 per cent of people use a car at least once a month. We want to give people more choice on how they travel, not restrict them or make life difficult for those who rely on their car.
That is why the Prime Minister has asked the Department for Transport to carry out a review of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods across the country, making sure that local traffic measures work for residents, businesses and emergency services. Any action taken forward will be focused on areas where Low Traffic Neighbourhoods clearly do not have the support or involvement of local residents.
The Government will continue to support motorists alongside a bold environmental agenda. The UK Government has cut emissions faster than any other G7 country, and retains a Nationally Determined Contribution which will deliver a 68 percent reduction in emissions by 2030, a greater predicted reduction than the US, Australia and the EU. Additionally, the Prime Minister recently announced two new carbon capture sites, which will help the UK reach net zero while supporting tens of thousands of jobs. This is a proportionate and pragmatic approach to reaching net zero that does not unnecessarily burden families, particularly when inflation is higher than any of us would like.
More broadly, since 2010, successive Conservative governments have been instrumental in combatting climate change.
In 2022, renewable electricity generation accounted for 41.4 per cent of total electricity generation, a four-fold increase since 2010. Last year, the UK saw the biggest increase ever in the installation of offshore wind capacity. With the UK home to the four largest working wind farms in the world, further government activity could see 95 per cent of the UK’s electricity being low carbon by the end of this decade. The Government has committed to future development in the sector with a commitment of £30 billion of domestic investment for the green industrial revolution at the Spending Review 2021.
On the cost of Net Zero, the Climate Change Committee’s latest estimates put the net cost of achieving net zero at less than 1 per cent of GDP through to 2050 when taking into account the benefits from the falling prices of low-carbon technologies, with scope for the economic effect to be a net positive as resources shift from imported fossil fuels to UK investment. This downward revision, from 1-2 per cent previously estimated, is welcome.
I agree that any public expenditure on this scale must provide wide ranging benefits and value for money. I am therefore pleased that the plan will create and support 250,000 green jobs. In addition, the Energy White Paper makes clear the Government's commitment to a competitive energy market to drive down the price for consumers. The Office for Budget Responsibility says the costs could be ‘significant’ but not ‘exceptional’, noting that delaying action would only increase costs.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP