The Treasury has sought to play down reports of growing tensions with Number 10 over how to fund the UK’s climate targets, claiming that the Chancellor and the Prime Minister are “on the same page” over the need for an “effective, affordable” net zero strategy. It follows reports over the weekend of divisions between Number 10 and Number 11 Downing Street on funding the UK’s net zero transition, as the government prepares to publish a set of crucial policy strategies over the coming months ahead of the COP26 UN climate summit in November. The Treasury is expected to publish its long awaited Net Zero Review looking at how to fund the transition ahead, while the government has also promised to publish its overarching Net Zero Strategy in the run up to the Glasgow summit, both of which are eagerly sought by green businesses in order to provide clarity over the road ahead. According to the Mail on Sunday, however, the Chancellor is thought to have “baulked” at recent estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) that delivering a net zero emissions UK economy by 2050 is likely to come at a net cost of £344bn to public finances spread over the next 30 years. The newspaper claims Rishi Sunak’s concerns have thrown the government’s net zero ambitions into “disarray”. Among the biggest outlays for net zero are expected to be decarbonising the UK’s notoriously inefficient building stock, funding the shift towards electric vehicles, and building a net zero energy system. The government is currently considering schemes to replace the doomed Green Homes Grant Scheme to help fund energy efficiency upgrades to draughty homes, while the energy regulator, Ofgem, is reportedly exploring plans for the cost of installing public EV charging points to be paid for through energy bills.
Business Green 26th July 2021 read more »