GMB calls for £120 billion cost of de-carbonising UK economy to be met by general taxation – not household energy bills

The GMB trade union has called for the costs of de-carbonising the UK economy – at least £120 billion –  to paid for out of general taxation rather than in higher household energy bills.

The identifiable costs of de-carbonisation arising from the implementation of the Climate Change Act 2008 have been calculated at £6.76 billion a year by the Committee on Climate Change, an independent statutory body.

If this was to recur until 2030, then the total cost would be £123.6 billion, said the GMB, the trade union for workers in the energy sector.

However GMB has been unable to put figures to the other items which will increase the overall cost, including carbon taxes, emissions permits, capacity auction costs, renewable levies or any indirect costs associated with decarbonising the economy.
But the GMB has concluded that the figure is likely to be much higher than the £123.6 billion identified.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary for the Energy Sector, said Every single household in Britain has an energy bill to pay – and for very many people it already represents a significant part of their monthly spend.

“Loading the costs of decarbonising the economy on to individual bill payers is highly regressive and will hit those who can least afford it the hardest; we are talking thousands of pounds extra on the bills of every house in Britain over the coming decade and a half.

“Given the eye-watering amounts of cash involved, UK energy bill payers have a right to demand complete transparency over all aspects of the decarbonising costs arising out of the 2008 Climate Change Act.

“It must also be established whether or not the costs represent value for money, efficacy and – above all – if they are going to rack up even further as seems likely.  

“It may well be that when the full costs of decarbonising the economy are laid bare, paying for them out of general taxation is actually the fairer way to proceed.”

Committee on Climate Change report ‘Meeting Carbon Budgets – Progress in reducing the UK’s emissions’ June 2015 Report to Parliament:

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