Rishi Sunak has become engaged in a row with the Climate Change Committee as the advisers claimed his watering down of Net Zero measures will hike costs for families and increase the risk of Britain failing to meet its 2050 target. The Mail has the story.
The Climate Change Committee, an independent body that advises the Government on emissions targets, was scathing of the Prime Minister’s recent action.
Mr. Sunak last month announced he was pushing back the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2035 and scrapping plans to force landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.
The PM also promised a new exemption for around one-fifth of households from having to replace their gas boilers with low-carbon alternatives.
He claimed his action would save households up to £15,000 over the coming years, while Mr. Sunak insisted Britain would still meet its Net Zero target by 2050.
But, in a new assessment published this afternoon, the CCC blasted the Government for not providing evidence for those claims.
“Recent policy announcements were not accompanied by estimates of their effect on future emissions, nor evidence to back the Government’s assurance that the U.K.’s targets will still be met,” said Professor Piers Forster, chair of the CCC.
“We urge the Government to adopt greater transparency in updating its analysis at the time of major announcements.”
The assessment warned the PM’s cancellation of some Net Zero measures was “likely to increase both energy bills and motoring costs for households”.
“Electric vehicles will be significantly cheaper than petrol and diesel vehicles to own and operate over their lifetimes, so any undermining of their roll-out will ultimately increase costs,” it added.
“The cancellation of regulations on the private-rented sector will lead to higher household energy bills.”
The CCC estimated that, due to current high energy bills, households could be paying £325 extra a year without landlords being compelled to make properties more energy efficient.
Mr. Sunak last month announced he was increasing grants for heat pumps from £5,000 to £7,500, but the CCC said this “has not been accompanied by a larger budget and will, therefore, serve fewer homes”.
They also stated that the new exemption to the planned phase-out of gas boilers could see “significant residual emissions from buildings in 2050”.
The CCC said it remained “concerned” about the likelihood of Britain meeting its future climate targets, including an aim – agreed under the UN process – for a 68% reduction in emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
Prof. Forster said: “We remain concerned about the likelihood of achieving the U.K.’s future targets, especially the substantial policy gap to the U.K.’s 2030 goal.
“Around a fifth of the required emissions reductions to 2030 are covered by plans that we assess as insufficient.”
Worth reading in full.