Hammond counts the cost

Philip Hammond has acknowledged the need to move to a zero carbon economy, but highlighted the cost, and need to transition over time.

The Chancellor has placed a price of £1tr to the economy to be net zero by 2050, and that would limit public investment in other areas. Although far from an official Government position (in fact it has been disowned by Number 10) Hammond’s view was expressed in a letter to the Prime Minister published by the Financial Times.

Eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 could more than 40 per more than estimate previously given by advisors Hammond warned, and cost over £1tr. The letter came on the eve of Theresa May’s determination to create an environmental legacy in her last days as PM, and introduce legislation to that effect.

Earlier the Climate Change Committee had placed a lower price tag on such moves, and other figures vary dependent upon factoring in green industry’s contribution; however Hammonds view appears to be that this will not be possible unless other countries are made to complete on an environmentally level playing field or the UK can enact its own barriers.

The government's current target is to reduce emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

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