Mini-budget failed to promote a low-carbon future for the UK | 2022 mini-budget

Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced that the effective ban on onshore wind farms will be lifted and the poorest households will regain access to insulation and energy efficiency measures.

Surveys show onshore wind is popular, with over 70% of people supporting it. Jess Ralston, senior analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: “The ban on onshore wind has been a major anomaly in British energy policy, as it is both cheap and popular with the public. It then suggests a decision to lift the ban [Kwarteng] he listened to the experts and understood that building more British renewables reduces our dependence on expensive gas and therefore lowers our bills.

The measures will help stimulate renewable energy production and keep the homes of thousands of people warmer over the next three years. But they were pretty much the only concrete low-carbon policies in a mini-budget that promised UK energy companies around £ 60 billion over the next six months, to protect consumers from higher bills and reward oil producers and North Sea gas with the prospect or 100 new licenses. Experts say the latter would do nothing to improve the current energy crisis and threaten the UK’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions target in the years to come.

The biggest gap was on home isolation. Kwarteng confirmed that £ 1 billion over three years would come from energy suppliers to spend on the most vulnerable consumers. Much of it will go to loft insulation and in some cases boiler replacement which should save thousands of low income people around £ 200 per year.

This still leaves no provision for the vast majority of the UK’s estimated 19 million households in need of home isolation. Amy Norman, a senior researcher at the Social Market Foundation, pointed out that as the government was paying energy producers directly, the lack of a home isolation policy was affecting its budget and overall UK fiscal stability.

“The amount of energy that people use is no longer just a private matter, but now a fiscal responsibility. With every unit of energy consumed now costing taxpayers, it is regrettable that the government has done nothing to encourage demand reduction that could save families and government money, ”she said. “It is unfortunate that a shortsighted refusal to do anything that could be seen as telling people what to do has hindered the construction of a cheaper and safer system.”

The stamp duty cut was another missed opportunity, experts said. It could have been done with “green ropes” or incentives like attached discounts. Louise Hutchins, Head of Policy at the UK’s Green Building Council, said: “There is growing support for an ‘energy saving stamp duty incentive’ because it would reward households for loft insulation. and walls, installing double glazing or installing a heat pump just as they are most likely to be updating their property anyway, within two years of purchase. The program may be neutral in terms of income for the government or be linked to additional support for families in need who most need help isolating their homes. “

Furthermore, there has been no move to recoup any of the huge costs of government energy policy from companies that are reaping a boon from rising prices. Rebecca Newsom, head of policy at Greenpeace UK, said: “Not properly taxing the obscene profits of the fossil fuel giants and encouraging bankers to get richer is reckless and unfair.

“Instead of trying to deregulate and attack those benefiting from subsidies, the new chancellor should look for ways to raise taxes on those profiting from the crisis. This could help fund emergency support for families and cover the vital investments needed in home insulation to help reduce our energy bills and climate emissions once and for all. “

Coupled with the government’s tearing of environmental regulations in the name of post-Brexit reforms, the prospects for the UK’s climate goals and nature protection were dim, said WWF’s Kate Norgrove, with detrimental impacts on the economy.

“If the government is serious about reviving the UK economy, it needs to stop blowing heat and cold in addressing the climate and natural emergency,” he said. “The only way to a growing and resilient economy is to invest in net zero by increasing renewable energy, isolating our homes and enhancing the transition to nature-friendly agriculture. Anything less would be a betrayal of people and of the planet”.

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