Ministers slammed over ‘unacceptable’ cutbacks to climate change schemes

Posted On: 
22nd August 2019

A cross-party group of MPs has accused the Government of making "unacceptable" cutbacks to key climate change programmes.

MPs said the government cuts would make their climate change targets "undeliverable"

The Science and Technology Committee has warned of “dire consequences” for the UK after it found the rollout of clean growth technologies had been blighted by a series of delays and cuts.

According to a new report from the group, the Government’s ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 will be “undeliverable” unless ministers take urgent steps to reduce vehicle emissions and increase support for clean energy projects.

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It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to put climate change "at the absolutle core" of his government's agenda.

But, writing for PoliticsHome, Norman Lamb, chair of the Science and Technology Committee, said government efforts across ten key areas had “either stalled or moved backwards”.

“The Government’s Independent climate auditor has warned that we’re not on track to meet even our previous targets, let alone our new ones,” he wrote.

“Action is needed across the economy, especially in areas such as transport and residential heating systems, which have seen little change or even increasing emissions since 2012.”

The report also calls for the proposed ban on the sale of conventional cars and vans to be brought forward until 2035 while also being expanded to include hybrid models.

Meanwhile, MPs said more should be done to improve support for homeowners looking to make properties more energy efficient, including a proposed adjustment to Stamp Duty fees based on emission levels.

Mr Lamb said: “Building regulations should be updated to ensure that the new homes we’re building are compatible with a net-zero future.

“Lessons should be learned from previous policies intended to deliver energy efficiency in existing homes, and proper incentives introduced to encourage those who can afford to make improvements to do so – stamp duty could be adjusted according to energy efficiency, while ‘help to improve’ loans could provide financial support similar to the ‘help to buy’ scheme.”

He added: “These measures all make use of tried and tested technology. But there are newer technologies that need Government support, to move from development to demonstration to deployment.

“There is still time for the UK to meet its net-zero goal, but it will require determined action from the Government now.”

A government spokesman said: "From transport to heating, electricity to agriculture, we are working to put in place the right measures to help us tackle global warming. We welcome the committee's report and will consider its findings.

"We are going further and faster to tackle climate change than any other major economy having legislated for net zero emissions by 2050."