Chris Stark, the chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, the UK’s independent statutory adviser, has said it is likely to be much easier and cheaper for the UK to achieve net-zero carbon emissions than we have previously thought.
“Overall, the cost is surprisingly low – it’s cheaper than even we thought last year when we made our assessments. Net-zero is relatively low-cost across the economy,” he said. “But that rests on action now. You can’t sit on your hands and imagine it’s just going to get cheaper by magic.”
There has been a boom in clean power and renewable installations in 2020 and resultantly we have seen renewable prices fall below the cost of fossil fuels, and this downward trend has been undeterred by the coronavirus pandemic and this year’s all-time low oil prices.
Chris explained there is a lovely opportunity to get a fair and cheap transition to a low-carbon economy. “…if we don’t put steps in place, this is going to be a quite a hard transition. Lumping costs on to the electricity bill is a regressive step, so we need to think about broader mechanisms to drive the investment that we need to get to net-zero…”
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