Philip Hammond said it would cost £1tn to meet the green target by 2050. If he won’t support it, how can we rely on this government?
In a new attempt to tackle climate crisis, the government is pledging to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. It’s seen as Theresa May’s bid to create a permanent legacy in her final weeks in office. While this target is still too slow, it’s a step in the right direction. Yet just days ago, her chancellor, Philip Hammond, raised concerns about the plan. In a leaked letter to May, he said the bill for moving to a zero-carbon economy would be upwards of £1tn.
To caution about costs is a standard Treasury response to anything. But Hammond’s intervention, since he’s on the centrist wing of a party that appears to be moving ever further to the right, is particularly disquieting. If even he doubts that saving the planet is money well spent, what about the rest of his party? It calls into question whether this government can be relied on to reach its green targets.
The Committee on Climate Change says cutting greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 is necessary, affordable and desirable. Here are some of the actions needed to make that happen: