ANNE-MARIE TREVELYAN: Racing through vaccination of our most vulnerable groups

The start to 2021 has felt bleak at times, with cold weather and a national lockdown as cases of Covid-19 have soared and placed enormous pressure on our NHS. However, chinks of light are beginning to appear as our national vaccination programme picks up pace.

Anne-Marie at the Well Close vaccine hub in Berwick.
Anne-Marie at the Well Close vaccine hub in Berwick.

At the time of writing, over three million people have received their first dose of the covid vaccine, and we remain on course to reach our target of having those four most vulnerable groups vaccinated by mid-February. Those groups are care home residents, the over 70s, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and frontline health and social care staff. Here in Northumberland we are racing through those priority groups thanks to the dedication of our GP-led teams, district nurses, and all volunteers. I have seen for myself the incredible efforts they have gone to in order to ensure the process runs smoothly, and I want to extend my thanks to everyone involved. You can read more about the National Vaccine Plan and how to volunteer on my website.

Last week the Prime Minister invited me to become Energy Minister with responsibility for construction and clean growth, as well as retaining my COP26 duties. I will be leading delivery of the UK’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution which will allow us to build the UK's contribution to climate change. The plan covers low carbon energy from nuclear to offshore wind, hydrogen and clean fuels for aviation and maritime. We are leading a transport revolution in electric vehicles, hydrogen buses and public transport; this will mobilise £12 billion of Government investment across these tech sectors as well as the transformation and increasing efficiency of energy use in all our homes. It will support and create up to 250,000 jobs. The plan includes commitments such as ending the sale of new diesel or petrol vehicles by 2030, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year, investing an extra £200 million in carbon capture technology and providing up to £500 million to trial homes using hydrogen for heating and cooking.

This comes on top of the work which is already underway, including the Green Homes Grant scheme, estimated to result in improving the energy efficiency of 650,000 homes in the next few years.