£3bn is a good start, but there is so much more to do to make the UK sustainable

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My Green New Deal Group colleague, Colin Hines, has this letter in the Guardian this morning:

Your editorial (7 July) is right to insist that Rishi Sunak’s announcement of £3bn towards the costs of insulating and providing green heating for some housing and public premises must be a “down payment” towards decarbonising the 30m buildings in the UK. However, to guarantee young people a stake in this green future, much of the £2bn for jobs for the under-25s should be rolled into this programme. Energy efficiency gets beyond the generalised blether about jobs, because it involves the specific skills of builders, plumbers, electricians, and heating and air conditioning engineers.

The government’s next step must be to move towards its well-received manifesto commitment to make £9.2bn available to such projects. To ensure this becomes a political priority, it is crucial to realise the vast number of jobs in every constituency that such a programme would entail. To meet the government’s net zero carbon goal by 2050 will require up to 20,000 homes and buildings being made energy-tight every week for the next 30 years. Another unrecognised job generator is the fact that gas heating in more than 20m homes will need to be replaced predominantly by heat pumps – that’s hundreds of thousands required annually.