WE are all being urged to change our lives to save the planet – but for many of us it seems like a tall order.
One of the biggest worries is cost. Electric vehicles, for instance, feel way too pricey.
And if you haven’t got a drive, where can you charge them?
The man leading the green push for the Government is cabinet newbie Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Sitting down with The Sun yesterday to explain the challenges, he promised green initiatives will quickly become cheaper.
Kwasi said: “When iPhones first came out, they were very expensive. But people got into them, people wanted them and the cost came down.
“And I think electric vehicles will see a similar development. It’s a very exciting time.
“I speak to the car manufacturers and they are actually all very excited about the switch to manufacturing electric vehicles.
“When we get that scale of investment and commitment to it, the unit costs will come down.”
At the last election, the Tories turned Labour’s Red Wall industrial heartlands blue — and the Government is now intent on turning them green.
PM Boris Johnson has already pledged to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030.
And in another prong of his green strategy, he yesterday unveiled plans to pump £95million into two offshore wind farms in the Humber, East Yorks, and Teesside, North Yorks.
Once complete, they will generate enough electricity to power eight million homes.
Last night, Boris said: “During the Industrial Revolution over 200 years ago, wind powered the sails of ships from the Humber and Teesside, trading goods around the world.
MAJOR BRITISH SUCCESS STORY
“Now the Humber and Teesside will put the wind in the sails of our new green industrial revolution, building the next generation of offshore wind turbines whilst creating 6,000 new green jobs in the process.
“Our multimillion-pound investment in these historic coastal communities is a major step towards producing the clean, cheap energy we need to power our homes and economy without damaging the environment.”
It is a move that Kwasi, 45, believes provides a perfect chance for Brexit Britain to lead the world.
He told The Sun: “The offshore wind sector is a major British industrial success story, providing cheap, green electricity while supporting thousands of good-quality jobs.
“While the UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, we are determined to ensure we are fully capturing the economic benefits in this country.
“To ensure our businesses, supply chain and high-skilled workforce can fully share in the sector’s success, this investment in the Humber region and Teesside will put the UK in pole position to land new offshore wind investors. In the process it will ramp up our domestic manufacturing base and create thousands of good jobs in our industrial heartlands.”
Kwasi moved into his current role in January as previous Energy Secretary Alok Sharma turned his attention to leading the UN’s COP26 climate summit, which is being held in Glasgow in November.
And like boss Boris, he revealed he has also taken up walking and running in lockdown in a bid to shed some weight and stay healthy while the gyms are shut.
He said: “You’re reducing your carbon footprint, so you can help the planet and also get healthier too.”
Kwasi was also full of praise for The Sun’s Green Team campaign which we launched last year to get readers to make small changes to cut their carbon footprint and help save the planet.
He said: “I’m delighted that The Sun is leading the way in this push, it’s fantastic.
“Even three years ago it wasn’t as popular, or as far forward, and I see that all the time today.”
HUGE ACHIEVEMENT, HUGE OPPORTUNITY
Yesterday’s wind farm cash announcement for northern towns helps to repay millions of voters who turned to the Conservatives in the 2019 election.
They helped the Tories smash through Labour’s Red Wall for the first time, turning the traditional post-industrial heartlands of the Midlands and North blue.
But Kwasi joked: “They can be green and blue.
“There are these shades that are half green, half blue — you can’t really tell what they are!
“But they are definitely green and blue at the same time, and that’s exactly where we want to be.”
A major part of his job will be supporting former Energy Secretary Alok as the UK prepares to host the world at the COP26 climate summit.
And after talks with US President Joe Biden’s envoy John Kerry this week, he was excited about the chance for Britain to take a lead on the world stage.
Kwasi said: “It will showcase Britain in a leadership role on something that the whole planet is engaged in.
“We are making sure that British people benefit from the economic opportunities of this — it’s a huge achievement and a huge opportunity.”
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