A major programme of tax breaks and infrastructure investment is being considered by Number 10, as the government weighs how best to put the UK on track to meet its net zero emissions goals and make good on the Prime Minister's promise to 'build back greener'.
The Times reported this morning that Boris Johnson is set to give a major speech on how the government plans to meet its goal of delivering net zero emissions by 2050, creating a wave of green jobs in so-called 'red wall' seats in the process.
Floating wind turbine projects and new green steel plants are said to be amongst the frontrunners for increased government support, alongside proposals for new 100 per cent tax breaks on all green capital investment made by companies.
The paper reported that Departments across Whitehall were given until Friday to submit plans for how the UK could accelerate its decarbonisation efforts.
The UK is currently off track to meet both its medium-term emissions targets and its long term goal for 2050, with the government facing growing calls from businesses and campaigners to come forward with a more ambitious strategy.
Today, CBI director-general Caroline Fairbairn issued fresh calls for the government to come forward with new climate policy measures, warning "action speaks 1,000 times louder than words".
The Times reported Johnson is preparing to respond to these calls with a speech that would set out how the UK could meet its net zero emissions by 2050 target, while also providing long-awaited clarity on whether the government will bring forward the date for banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars and how quickly it wants to phase out conventional boilers.
Downing Street is also expected to confirm that the government plans to use post-Brexit state-aid freedoms, which have been at the heart of the latest trade deal row with the EU, to bolster support for green industries in coastal and post-industrial communities.
Plans to rapidly expand the UK's fledgling fleet of floating wind turbines and deliver the country's first electric arc furnace to recycle steel have been earmarked as likely beneficiaries of new approach.
Further details on both schemes are to be to set out in the government's long-awaited energy white paper, which is also expected to include proposals for how to increase investment in energy efficiency measures, smart grid infrastructure, new nuclear capacity, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.
Other proposals under consideration, according to The Times, are an expansion in land assigned for forestry and energy crops and the use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.
The broad thrust of the plan is likely to be welcomed by campaigners, who have spent much of the past five years since the signing of the Paris Agreement arguing the UK needs a net zero compatible decarbonisation strategy.
However, the latest reports also prompted disappointment amongst green groups with news that plans to ban peat-burning appear to have been dropped.
The news comes on the same day as pressure on listed companies to develop their own net zero strategies ratcheted up further, as the Climate Action 100+ group of top global institutional investors wrote to 161 CEOs and Chairs of the Board at the world's largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting companies, calling on them to put in place net zero business strategies and define targets to support delivery.
The group warned that a failure to respond to investor calls would result in more moves by shareholders to force companies to disclose information on the climate risks they face and develop credible decarbonisation plans.
Rail Minister hails corporate backing for efforts to shift freight off the roads and onto the rails
VIDEO: Managing director & partner at BCG joins BusinessGreen editor in chief James Murray for a chat about the management consulting giant's ambitious new 2030 net zero strategy
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Kemi Badenoch, stresses that the net zero transition remains central to the government's long term strategy for the UK
Call to adopt targets proposed in last year's Green New Deal plan made in an open letter signed by the more than 150 business leaders