The North West will play a key part in the UK’s transformation to net zero by 2050. My constituency, Warrington South, is right at the heart of the UK’s leading industrial decarbonisation project HyNet and is one of the first towns rolling out a fully electric bus fleet. These initiatives will secure existing and create thousands of new jobs and position the region as a clean energy and green industry leader.
Warrington has a proud industrial heritage. Sitting on vital industrial routes such as the Manchester Ship Canal, the West Coast Mainline, and the River Mersey, it embraced the industrial revolution and expanded into a major manufacturing town.
Now Warrington, along with the rest of the North West, is embracing the green industrial revolution. With 340,000 manufacturing jobs in the region, it is important that businesses in the area are given support to decarbonise and innovate. This will allow the region to secure its industrial strength looking ahead to the government’s 2050 net zero target and beyond.
The HyNet project is one example of the innovation and industrial leadership of Warrington and the North West. This project is producing and transporting low-carbon hydrogen fuel and developing cutting-edge carbon capture and storage to decarbonise the industrial plants in the area.
By 2030 Hynet will be capturing up to 10 million tonnes of CO2 and delivering around 80% of the UK’s 10GW 2030 hydrogen target. Importantly, the project will create 6000 new jobs in the area and secure many thousands more in supply chains, ensuring the North West not only remains an industrial powerhouse but is setting the standard for the rest of the UK.
Warrington’s residents will soon also see the direct impact of green levelling up as the bus fleet of Warrington’s Own Buses is replaced with electric zero-emissions buses using £20 million of government funding. These buses will drive Warrington’s transition to cleaner transport. Replacing diesel buses will mean cleaner air and a more pleasant atmosphere for residents and visitors to the town. Electric buses are also cheaper to run and maintain, freeing up money for other local projects or public services.
Owning an electric car in Warrington is also set to become easier after funding was awarded from the Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Fund Pilot for 105 new public electric vehicle charging points. This funding will assist the transition to hybrid and electric cars by 2030 which will lead to improved air quality through reduced emissions across the town.
Switching to cleaner fuels, like electric and hydrogen, will tangibly improve the everyday lives of my constituents, bring in jobs and investment, and make Warrington an even better place to live. It illustrates that our commitment to protecting the environment and decarbonising can work hand-in-hand with attracting highly skilled and paid jobs and improving local prosperity. It’s a perfect example of net zero being an irreplaceable ingredient to levelling up. Between private projects and the continued commitment from the government, Warrington is primed to thrive as it becomes cleaner, greener and more prosperous.
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