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Net Zero Emissions: National Target

Volume 692: debated on Monday 19 April 2021

What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the role of his Department in meeting the national target of net zero emissions by 2050. (914298)

The simple answer to the hon. Lady’s question is that lots of discussions have been had. This Department works very closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to set us on the path to ensuring that all homes and buildings meet that national net zero target. As no doubt you know, Mr Speaker, this is part of the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan to build back greener post pandemic and ensure we achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Heating the UK’s draughty homes makes up 14% of the country’s carbon emissions. Many of my constituents in Putney wanted to apply for the green homes grant, but cannot because it has been scrapped. The Labour Government set out the original plans for zero-carbon homes in 2006, which set a goal of achieving zero-carbon homes by 2016. Why was this ambition abandoned by this Government in 2016, why was the green homes grant scrapped this month by this Government and what will be replacing it?

The green homes grant is of course a BEIS initiative, but I can tell the hon. Lady that although it was making encouraging progress—with over 96,000 applications, and 39,000 vouchers had been issued via the scheme—given the fact that it was not progressing quickly enough, we have taken stock and decided to reconsider our approach. Last month, the Secretary of State for BEIS announced £300 million of extra funding for green home upgrades through the local authority delivery element of the green homes grant scheme and the social housing decarbonisation fund. This brings the total spending on energy efficiency to £1.3 billion.