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UK Net Zero 2050: Government “without answers to key questions” on costs or funding target set in law

2 March 2022

Today the Public Accounts Committee says that after taking two years to publish its plan for achieving the target, set in law, of ‘Net Zero by 2050’, Government still has “no clear plan for how the transition to net zero will be funded” or “how it will replace income from taxes such as fuel duty”, and “no reliable estimate of what the process of implementing the net zero policy is actually likely to cost British consumers, households, businesses or government itself”.

Certainty for business and consumers is critical but as the Committee has noted repeatedly in recent reports, Government has “too often pursued stop-start strategies which undermine confidence for business, investors and consumers in committing to measures which would reduce carbon emissions - especially when some green alternatives are still significantly more expensive than current options.” 

Chair's comments

Dame Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said:

“Government is relying heavily on rapidly changing consumer behaviours and technological innovations to drive down the costs of green options, but it is not clear how it will support and encourage consumers to purchase greener products or incentivise businesses and drive change.

Every Government department has a responsibility for delivering policies towards the target of net zero but two years after enshrining the ‘Net Zero’ by 2050 target in law, the government has unveiled a plan without answers to the key questions of how it will fund the transition to net zero - including how it replace significant income from taxes such as fuel duty.

The government’s net zero strategy requires government, local government, regulators, businesses, and consumers working all together to deliver its targets. A top-down strategy from government won’t deliver on its own. There is a risk that a series of disconnected initiatives announced by central government will not bring about the changes that are now set out in law.”

Further information

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