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Net zero to cost Britons an extra £6,000 a year despite Sunak watering down policies

NewsNet zero to cost Britons an extra £6,000 a year despite Sunak watering down policies

Families face paying more than £6,000 a year until 2050 because of net zero targets, a think tank has suggested.

Britons “will face significant increases in cost” during the race to reduce carbon emissions, the report by Civitas suggested.

Ewen Stewart, report author, called this “a highly expensive exercise with no obvious benefit to the public or the climate, given the UK is responsible for less than one percent of all global emissions”.

The cost of reaching net zero is set to top £4.5trillion by 2050 despite the Prime Minister’s recent announcements.

This figure is over three times the Climate Change Committee’s estimate of just over £1.3 trillion.

Mr Sunak said last week that he would be watering down several climate policies, while still aiming to meet the overall target of reaching net zero by 2050.

The Civitas report identified over 200 countries that have made net zero pledges but only six, including the UK, have adopted legally enforceable ‘net zero’ targets.

Mr Stewart: “The UK is a global outlier in terms of the strength of its net zero commitments. It already has the most expensive power of any major economy despite being blessed with abundant energy reserves.

“It has already cut emissions harder and faster than almost all other developed nations, its emissions in a global context are minimal and it is one of a very few countries to tie net zero objectives into law with statutory obligation regardless of feasibility or cost.

“Expenditure on this level and costs imposed on society requires the consent of the governed.”

Mr Sunak’s rethink of green policies was seen as an attempt to create a dividing line with Labour ahead of a possible general election next year.

The Prime Minister announced he is pushing back the ban on new petrol and diesel cars, watered down the plan to phase out gas boilers by 2035 and scrapped the requirement of energy efficiency upgrades to homes. Many of his backbench MPs looking to secure votes at the ballot box praised the move while others criticised the decisions.

Craig Mackinlay, chairman of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group of Conservative MPs, said Mr Sunak’s latest approach brings “pragmatism and realism to the Net Zero pathway”.

Writing in the Express following the Prime Minister’s speech on Thursday, he said: “This is an honest announcement based on cold reality. Consumers will have choice returned to them and will welcome it. It’s good politics too as Labour peddle more extreme, expensive, controlling and unachievable pipe-dreams.”

Meanwhile, former Tory energy minister Chris Skidmore said that “delaying carefully planned and proportionate net zero measures will only cause economic pain and cost householders more. We cannot afford for ‘not zero’ to damage businesses and jobs”.

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