There is no evidence to support changes to the fourth carbon budget for 2023-27, according to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the independent body set up under the Climate Change Act to advise the UK Government.
Changed circumstances point towards a tightening of the budget, but the CCC advises that it would be premature to do so until uncertainties at the European Union level have been resolved.
The CCC concluded that the evidence showed low-carbon policies have had “limited impact” on energy bills to date and are expected to add around £100 to residential bills in 2020 and up to £20 from 2020 to 2030. Low-carbon policies are expected to have a broadly neutral impact on fuel poverty and there is no evidence of significant industry off-shoring to date in response to low-carbon policies, the report concluded.
Lord Deben, Chairman of the CCC, who – as John Gummer – served as Environment Secretary in John Major’s government, said:
“This report shows the clear economic benefits of acting to cut emissions through the 2020s.
“This provides insurance against the increased costs and risks of climate-related damage and rising energy bills that would result from an alternative approach to reduce and delay action.”
Deben added: “While it is essential to understand affordability and competitiveness impacts associated with the budget, the evidence suggests that these are relatively small and manageable.
“The Government should confirm the budget as a matter of urgency. This would remove the current uncertainly and poor investment climate. It would provide a boost to the wide range of investors who stand ready to invest in low-carbon technologies.”