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The UK lacks a “credible plan” to achieve net-zero status, a report by the House of Lords industry and regulators committee has warned.
“There is no point planning a carbon-free energy future if you haven’t got a clue how you will get there or how it will be paid for,” said Lord Clive Hollick, the chairman of the committee, as quoted by the Financial Times.
The country has committed to net zero emissions by 2050 and, before that, completely decarbonize its grid by 2035. A ban on the sales of internal combustion engine cars is also part of Downing Street’s plans for decarbonization.
These are lofty goals, but the government has so far either failed or been unwilling to discuss how they will be accomplished and who will shoulder the financial burden, the report said. Specific incentives aimed at moving the country forward towards these goals have also not been specified.
So far, the only idea that the government seems to have put on the table is adding surcharges on electricity bills. This may not be the best way to work towards net zero, however, especially since electricity bills are about to surge from April this year after Ofgem, the grid regulator, raised the ceiling on electricity costs prompted by the energy and gas crunch that hit the UK along with Europe last autumn and winter.
According to the authors of the House of Lords committee report, this additional surcharge burden on household electricity bills will add unfair pressure on consumers who are already suffering the worst consequences of the energy crunch, the Financial Times reports.
“Bills are regressive as the poor pay more of their income on energy costs . . . the government should look again at using greater public borrowing to fund what are huge and long-term infrastructure costs,” the report said.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.