The United Kingdom wants to see investment in clean technologies surge in the next three years and, if not, to avoid building a large coal plant for at least a decade, according to official figures published on Monday.
Government ministers published the Green Paper outlining how Britain can meet targets to cut carbon emissions under the Paris climate change agreement.
The government has promised to cut carbon emissions by 60 percent over the period 2050 to 2035. The Green Paper released on Monday proposed a number of measures to meet this goal.
The idea of a big carbon tax in the UK was removed from the Green Paper from the last report in 2018, so the government is still considering how to achieve the target. The paper proposes that individuals should also cut down their carbon use through changes to their lifestyles such as driving a less fuel efficient car.
The Green Paper also outlines options for tackling the problem of nuclear plants, where most of the EU’s nuclear capacity is located.
The government has already commissioned a feasibility study into four nuclear power plants, with a view to investing up to 3 billion pounds. Its previous plans to have one nuclear plant would have been the first plants built in the UK since 1995.
The government wants to give investors a chance to invest at least 120 million pounds to get projects off the ground. If the investors prove not to be willing, the government will take a “less generous approach”, according to Business Secretary Greg Clark.
But with official figures showing that almost three quarters of those surveyed said they would prefer to invest in low-carbon technologies, the hope is that some companies could make some big investments. The government has already said that it will provide tax incentives for low-carbon technologies by 2021 to avoid businesses shying away from investing.