Govt turns a new page on green policy

The government will introduce a carbon floor by April.
The government will introduce a carbon floor by April.

By staff

The government will unveil plans to push the UK towards a green economy today, amid accusations that it lacks a substantial environmental agenda.

Speaking at B&Q's flagship eco-friendly store in Sutton, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and energy secretary Chris Huhne will announce the details of the coalition's carbon plan and a new green apprenticeships scheme.

The carbon plan proposes a shift in the way electricity is generated by switching from fossil fuels to low carbon alternatives, in the way homes and businesses are heated and insulated and in the way people travel.

The government has set itself targets to introduce incentives like a carbon floor by April this year and the Green Investment Bank by September 2012 in an effort to spur investment in the low carbon economy.

The draft proposals will be offered up to the public and organisations for further scrutiny and feedback.

The government will also announce 1,000 green deal apprenticeships to increase the number of skilled workers that can tackle home insulation.

Mr Clegg said the plans would help the coalition reshape the economy.

"We want to be the greenest government ever. We will reshape the economy, change the way we power our transport, heat our homes, and generate our electricity. We must put the development of the green economy at the centre of our ambitions to rebalance the economy," he will say.

"The green deal is about the future - and it is important we ensure that future generations have the skills they need to take advantage of the opportunities of the green economy."

Meg Hillier, shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change, dismissed the announcements as "talk".

"The Conservatives' green tree is shedding its leaves. Huhne talks the talk but has not demonstrated any grip on delivering his promises. Liberal Democrats are prisoners in the boot of a Tory-driven car," she said.

"There may be some muffled noises emerging but the fact is, on energy and climate change they can do nothing to change the direction in which this calamitous government is travelling."


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