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UK will build back and bounce back greener — Johnson

Green economy will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs

As the coronavirus intensifies, Britain is on the road to getting 100 percent of its energy from offshore wind turbines according to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind — a place of almost limitless resource but in the case of wind without the carbon emissions and without the damage to the environment,” Johnson said.

JOHNSON… the UK will become the world leader in clean wind energy

He said the UK would become “the world leader in clean wind energy”. But central on this was his premise that at some point the state must allow private enterprise to drive the economy forward.

“There comes a moment when the state must step back and allow private enterprise to get on with it,” Boris said.

He was speaking online on Monday at the Conservative Party Conference, which is taking place mainly in cyberspace from Birmingham.

With the slogan “Build back better” behind him, Johnson announced the country would “build back greener” with £160 million to upgrade ports and infrastructure for building wind turbines — in communities like Teeside and Humber in Northern England, Scotland and Wales.

Britain’s wind energy is already the largest in the world, meeting 10 per cent of the country’s electricity demand.

“Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle — the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands,” Johnson said.

The Prime Minister said the offshore wind would produce more than enough electricity to power every home in the country by 2030, based on current electricity usage, boosting the government’s previous 30GW target to 40GW.

Building on the strengths of the North Sea, brand new technology would allow wind farms to be built further out to sea in deeper waters, boosting capacity even further where winds are strongest and ensuring the UK would remain at the forefront of the next generation of clean energy, Johnson said.

He said there would be a new target for floating offshore wind to deliver 1GW of energy by 2030, which is over 15 times as much as the resto f the world put together.

People who had previously ridiculed the power of wind were forgetting the the history of this country, Johnson said.

Sir Francis Drake’s ship, the Golden Hind

“It was offshore wind that puffed the sails of drake and Raleigh and Nelson and propelled this country to commercial greatness.”

EMPLOYMENT

In terms of employment, the plan aims to create some 2,000 construction jobs with support of 60,000 more and help the country to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. He said that in the future the sector could create hundreds of thousands if not millions of new jobs.

He said the UK would become “the world leader in clean wind energy”. But central on this was his premise that at some point the state must allow private enterprise to drive the economy forward.

The announcement follows his recent speech to the United Nations where he promised to protect 30 percent of UK land for nature as a “boost for biodiversity”. Meanwhile, others have pointed out a discrepancy in that thinking, as ancient oaks are currently being cut down to allow for the development of a high-speed trainline between Birmingham and London.

Looking back, Johnson said “he was too fat” when he caught the coronavirus earlier this year, but he has since lost 26 pounds.

CATALYST FOR CHANGE

After listing off a number of problems with the economy before the pandemic, including a lack of homes and inadequate infrastructure, Johnson said that post-pandemic it will not be good enough to look to restore normality.

Offshore wind farm

“So we can’t now define the mission of this country as merely to restore normality —that isn’t good enough. In the depths of the second World War when just about everything had gone wrong, the Government set out a mission of the post war new Jerusalem that they wanted to build. And that it what we are doing now, in the teeth of this pandemic,” Johnson said.

He said the country is trying to create the conditions that would be needed to lift the trend rate of growth and lift people’s incomes.

“We need to lift the productivity of the country,” Johnson said.

50,000 new nurses will be employed

He said the country would be building 40 new hospitals and would be employing some 50,000 new nurses, noting that the 14,000 who had been employed in the last year was simply not enough.

With the UK no longer having easy access to nurses from the European Union, it is possible that many of these new nurses and other health workers will come from the English-speaking Commonwealth countries, such as Jamaica and other islands in the Caribbean.

Johnson also spoke to an emphasis on improving the care sector for both patients and carers, and battling crime with 20,000 new police officers, with basic social justice, including improved education.

One to one teaching — intensive teaching for students on both ends of the spectrum —is another idea.

“Its in crises like this that new approaches evolve,” he said.

“From internet shopping, to working from home, it looks as though COVID has massively accelerated changes in the world of work. As old jobs are lost and new jobs are created we are offering free training to adults without a levels free training in vital skills from adult care to wind turbine maintenance,” Johnson said.

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