Boris Johnson has assured that Britain can get to net zero by 2050 but it will require “massive private sector investment” paired with government action.
To a standing ovation, he opened his speech saying: “Let’s get on with it, let’s get on with the job.”
The Prime Minister used his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today to reiterate his government’s commitment to level up every part of the UK’s economy.
Boris Johnson has pledged to continue investing in skills, renewable energy projects and more nuclear to help the country achieve its climate commitments: “This is how we help cut the cost of living for everyone, because housing, energy, transport, are huge parts of our monthly bills, and is by fixing our broken housing market, sorting out our energy supply, more renewable, more nuclear, becoming less depending on more hydrocarbons from abroad, we will hold costs down and we will save you money.”
He also recalled a visit to the Moray Firth to see “an aquatic forest” of wind turbines: “I met the young men and women apprentices who moved straight across from the world of oil and gas and had the same excitement at working with winds and waves and being able to see whales and dolphins from the office window. But they had extra satisfaction that goes with knowing you are doing something to save the planet.”
“The challenge that the whole of humanity faces is even more existential for our way of life”, said Boris Johnson.
Just a few days ahead of COP26, the Prime Minister said about the UN Climate Change Conference: “In just a few weeks this country will host the summit of our generation in Glasgow when the resolve of the world is put to the test. Can we keep alive the ambition of Paris to stop the planet heating by more than 1.5°C, while government can’t do it alone and taxpayers certainly can’t do it alone.”
Boris Johnson said transport is one of the great leveller-uppers: “We are putting on 4,000 more clean, green buses made in this country, some of them running on hydrogen.”
The Prime Minister promised to protect the countryside by planting more trees and re-wilding: “Otters are returning to rivers from which they have been absent for decades, beavers that have not been seen on some rivers since Tudor times are now back. Build back beaver.”
Addressing delegates and members of the Cabinet gathered at the Central Convention Complex, he added: “We are going to rewild parts of the country and we are going to consecrate a total of 30% to nature. We are planting tens of millions of trees.”
He said there is a “huge hole” in finances and it is responsible to raise taxes to fund the healthcare sector.