Bloomberg: Why Britain spends 37 37 billion to exacerbate energy supply crisis

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As he opened the COP26 climate talks in November, Boris Johnson warned that “it’s a minute before midnight” in the fight to reduce global warming carbon dioxide emissions, according to Bloomberg. His government has since announced 37 37 billion in funding, focusing solely on subsidizing energy consumption – most of which is fossil fuels.

The Prime Minister did not reach this point by choice. It reacts to a cost-of-life crisis that has impoverished millions of Britons. But his government has had to deal with the problem with tools that are both costly and climate-destroying, largely due to past policy failures.

Over the past decade, a number of energy efficiency measures, such as home insulation, have not been implemented or abandoned by successive Conservative prime ministers. The expansion of onshore wind energy has also slowed significantly due to their restrictive policies. The annual energy bills of British consumers would be σήμερα 2.5 billion ($ 3.2 billion) lower today if these things had not happened, according to a Carbon Brief analysis.

The household support announced this week was “absolutely necessary and appropriate,” said Luke Murphy, deputy director of energy and climate at the Institute for Public Policy Research, a progressive think tank. “But it should be accompanied by investment in home insulation and the expansion of onshore wind energy to reduce bills, increase energy security and tackle climate change.”

The failure of these policies has left the Johnson administration “staggering from crisis to crisis, returning with increasingly short-term solutions,” Murphy said.

Promises for the climate

At the end of COP26, Alok Sharma, President of the Conference and Minister for the United Kingdom, told the approximately 200 national delegations that left Glasgow that he would press them to keep their climate promises. Six months later, it is the hosts themselves who are rowing behind the commitments they signed at the United Nations summit.

This week brought the clearest example. Finance Minister Risi Sunak announced 5 5 billion in funding to help consumers meet rising energy bills, which will be paid with an emergency tax on oil and gas producers. In an effort not to discourage investment, he said companies would be able to avoid part of the tax by making new investments in oil and gas extraction – breaking a COP26 promise not to subsidize fossil fuel production.

On Friday, Johnson was pushing for North Sea oil and gas revivals, urging companies to boost their investments.

“I do not think we can completely turn our backs on hydrocarbons,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “You have to address supply-side issues” and keep the North Sea in operation, he said.

The excise tax follows a series of other policy decisions that run counter to Britain’s promise to achieve zero zero carbon emissions by 2050. They include deducting 5 pence from the price of a liter of petrol to help drivers, and possibly reopen the door to fracking for gas. Despite its desperation for new energy reserves, the government has not lifted restrictions on new onshore wind farms, which are the cheapest form of new energy.

In all, the Treasury has pledged around 37 37 billion to help the British pay their energy bills.

“I’m not sure this was what the Glasgow Climate Pact was about,” Chris Stark, chief executive of the UK government’s independent oversight body, the Climate Change Commission, wrote on Twitter shortly after Sunak’s tax announcement.

There were no notable new policies to help citizens reduce their energy consumption, which in the long run will be the key to protecting them from price shocks. Insulation rates remain much lower than the maximum delivery rates reached before 2012, when key policies were repealed, the Climate Change Committee said.

The UK government has repeatedly failed to come up with a successful home insulation program. In 2013, then-Prime Minister David Cameron cut spending on energy efficiency after allegedly demanding that services “cut the green abominations”.

Instead, he introduced the Green Deal, which attached the cost of repaying the loan to a property. This was abandoned two years later due to low adoption rates, along with the zero-carbon housing standard for new buildings. In 2020, ministers introduced the Green Home Grant, but it was abandoned less than a year later due to administrative problems.

It is possible for governments to create a support package that helps people both now and in the long run, Murphy told IPPR. Ireland, for example, offers homeowners a 50% discount on deep conversions to improve their efficiency. Germany and New Zealand provide employees with cheap public transport tickets, while some US cities have made them free.

“Ultimately, the only way to get out of this challenge in the long run is to reduce the demand for energy and fossil fuels,” said Tim Lord, a former UK energy official who is now in charge of climate change. change in Phoenix Group Holdings Plc, which provides retirement and insurance services.

Source: Capital

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