Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Sustainable Development

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU with no deal on his Department’s ability to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 9 in the UK.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

Leaving the EU, either with or without a deal, will not affect our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals or delivering the Industrial Strategy, our long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.

This government has made a record investment in infrastructure with £37bn committed through the National Productivity Investment Fund by 2023-24. This includes £2.5bn for Transforming Cities Fund​, £5.5bn for the Housing Infrastructure Fund​, and £740m for digital infrastructure. Government spending on infrastructure (Gross Fixed Capital Formation) is up 3% in the last year, with public and private sector investment totalling over £358bn in 2018.

Sector Deals are supporting billions of pounds of investment from the public and private sector and important sectoral reforms on issues such as technology diffusion and workforce diversity.

The Clean Growth Grand Challenge and in particular the mission ​to establish the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 and at least one low-carbon cluster by 2030, demonstrates our commitment to more sustainable industrialisation for the future of our country.

Innovation lies at the heart of the Industrial Strategy resulting in the biggest increase in R&D funding ever. We have committed an extra £7bn by 2021/22 including £1.7bn already allocated to innovative programmes supporting industry and researchers through the first two waves of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund​.​

The UK’s first Voluntary National Review (VNR) will be published shortly. The VNR will review UK action both domestically and internationally in support of Goal 9. It will also outline key challenges and next steps, recognising that while progress is being made, there is more work to do.

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