UK Households may have to spend up to £15,000 for Government’s Climate Plans

  • Date: 10/11/09

The head of Britain’s climate change watchdog predicted today that households will need to spend up to £15,000 on a full energy efficiency makeover if the government is to meet its ambitious targets for cutting carbon emissions.

 Warning that Britain needs to step up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases after picking all the “low-hanging fruit”, Adair Turner said radical steps would be needed for electricity generation, cars and homes.

 Amid growing concern that next month’s Copenhagen climate change summit could end in bitter failure, the chairman of the government’s climate change commission warned against using the drop in emissions caused by the longest recession since the 1930s as an excuse to relax in the fight against climate change.

The government has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 34% from their 1990 levels by 2020 but slipped off course during the economic boom earlier this decade. “When we get the figures for 2008-09 we may look to be on target, but only because we have had a thumping recession,” Lord Turner said.

“There is a danger of the government saying “look, we are back on target”. We will be back on target for the worst possible reason.”

Turner said that the UK had made “pretty rapid progress” on cutting emissions during the “dash for gas” in the 1990s, but had not maintained the progress during this decade. Tough decisions were now needed because there were limits to improvements to the internal combustion engine and Britain was running out of “easy things” to do in the home.

“After home insulation and more efficient boilers, we now need more intrusive things – double glazing, cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation.”

He added: “We need much more of a whole house approach – one-stop shops where people can get a total report on what they need to do to their homes. It may be expensive – between £10,000 and £15,000.”

The CCC believes that the cost of the scheme would be paid for by a combination of government subsidy and higher electricity bills.

The Guardian, 10 November 2009

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