Proposals from top Government advisers to step up the fight against climate change would trigger “astronomical” extra costs, think tanks warned yesterday.
The Climate Change Committee said Britain needs to “strengthen” its policies and do more to boost renewable energy such as windfarms.
It said that without tougher action Britain will miss its 31 per cent target of cutting emissions by 2025 and may only manage a 21 per cent reduction.
That will hinder it meetings its commitment to cut emissions by 80 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050.
The CCC called for more progress on insulating homes, promoting the uptake of ground source and air source heat pumps, and investment in support for electric vehicles.
The CCC also urged the Government to end the “high degree of uncertainty” about its support for renewable energy.
It urged ministers to provide funding to deliver strategies for commercialising offshore wind.
Critics warned that households which already pay an average £1,264 for electricity and gas would face higher bills if the Government follows the CCC’s advice.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change already forecasts that green levies will account for 5 per cent of gas and 11 per cent of electricity bills by 2020.
But Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation said: “UK households and consumers already face a cumulative £50 billion bill for renewable energy subsidies by 2020 in the form of the green Levy Control Framework.
“If the CCC’s post-2023 proposal were to succeed, the additional costs would be astronomical. This is politically unsustainable.”
Dr Peiser also pointed to Chancellor George Osborne’s scepticism about green policies and his pledge not to make Britain uncompetitive in the global market.
He said: “George Osborne has repeatedly made clear that the government will not cut UK CO2 emissions faster and deeper than other countries in Europe.” […]
But the CCC said that action now offers “significant cost savings” compared to delaying.
It argued that reducing emissions can be achieved “at affordable cost”.
Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said: “Climate Change demands urgent action.