There’s a pattern in UK climate policy. Progressive policies are put in place but then later rolled back or watered down. Take the cap that was imposed on the rising carbon price floor in 2014, for example.
The CPF was introduced in 2013 in order to ensure that the price on carbon in the UK remained in line with our decarbonisation targets – it was clear that the carbon price the EUETS was delivering was too low (it still is).
The original target was to achieve a price of £30 per tonne of carbon dioxide in 2020 with a starting price of about £16 per tonne.
However in the 2014 Budget the Government announced that prices would be capped at £18 per tonne from 2016 to 2020 to “limit the competitive disadvantage faced by business and reduce energy bills for consumers.”
What is the panel’s view on this?
Policy needs to be economically viable, but isn’t it true that government needs to be shaping the economy of the future? In terms of the climate current efforts fall far short of what’s needed. And there are many examples of government falling back on fossil fuels as the easy option for keeping the economy going.
So my question to the panel is –
What can be done to ensure UK climate policy is politically sustainable, protected from this kind of political vacillation in order that the UK can genuinely lead the way in terms of climate policy?