Tackling the cost-of-living crisis requires that British homes urgently isolate and deploy renewable energy generation faster, chief Climate Change Committee (CCC) said.
Lord Dippen, a former Conservative environment minister, said the measures needed to cut energy bills were the same as those required to reach net greenhouse gas emissions.
He said it was not too late to start insulating homes for the winter, and that actions to do so could attract support from across parties.
“What we have to do for net zero is what we have to do to tackle the cost of living crisis,” he said in an interview. “And when people say we can’t afford net-zero, we honestly can’t not go to net-zero. That’s where the Climate Change Committee has been He is very critical of the governmentBecause we must have a major policy to improve people’s homes.”
He said the government should quickly present an isolation plan. “It’s never too late to do anything,” he said. “Local authorities have programs already underway, they can expand these programs very quickly if they have the money to do that. Obviously it would be better if they started three or six months earlier, but the truth is that they can do a lot.”
Despite repeated calls from RepresentativesAnd the local governmentAnd the industry And the energy expertsThe government has yet to come up with plans for a major new isolation strategy. There hasn’t been a national program to help middle-income people to isolate their homes since Cancellation of the failed green house grant last year.
In his mini-budget, Counsellor, Kwasi Kwarting, said, Extend the current scheme Under which energy companies support energy efficiency measures for some of the poorest households, he refused to go any further. He promised changes to planning regulations that currently ban coastal wind farms in England, which could open the way for new turbines.
Deben said high energy bills were at the heart of the UK’s economic crisis. “The problem is how do you lower the cost of energy? There are two ways to do that: the first is to have more renewable energy, because this is the cheapest form of energy, and the second way is to enable people to use less energy by achieving energy efficiency. They are clear And they are very simple and can be done.”
He suggested that the private sector also participate in financing the isolation schemes. “There’s a great opportunity, and there’s a lot of private sector money out there, if the government creates a plan.”
Dippen called on ministers to do more to help people make low-carbon choices, saying that people who approach plumbers or heating engineers are often sold boilers rather than heat pumps. “I’m so keen on proper government policy that someone could call and say, ‘Look, I have a three-bedroom house, I want to do the right thing. Instead of buying a new gas boiler, where do I go for information? ‘And there must be very direct help.”
New homes are still being built with gas boilers, without renewable energy and with low standards, and they should be Upgrading is expensive in the future To achieve the 2050 goal net zero. Deben compared this to the government’s success in stimulating the auto industry to produce electric cars by setting a deadline of 2030 for recent sales of new petrol or diesel cars.
“There is a good example of the government doing the right thing, setting a goal, and saying exactly what it would be like,” he said. “If only they did it with the housing construction industry. We are still waiting for the standards for future homes and we have to look very carefully when they are properly advertised.”
Deben said he’s not against it crackingCCC does not take a view on the technology, but said it would not ease gas prices for consumers.
“We have never been against hydraulic fracturing, we have always said that hydraulic fracturing is perfectly acceptable as long as you meet the environmental standards we set,” he said. “It doesn’t mean it will be something cheap, and you will still sell gas at market price. It also takes time. You can’t argue that it will bring the price down.”
He defended the government’s plans to extract as many oil and gas fields as possible in the North Sea. “There is a perfectly good argument for making the most of the North Sea in the context of dealing with the situation in Ukraine. It is perfectly reasonable. [But] That doesn’t mean you have to do huge new things.”
He said ministers should be clear that expanding drilling or fracking in the North Sea would not lower prices. “No, for goodness sake, you pretend to people that he’s going to cut their bills, because he won’t.”
The Central Coordination Committee concluded in February that it was not within its competence to advise the government against it Issuance of new licenses To open more gas fields in the North Sea. But the independent advisory panel said the new licenses would take years to produce gas, would not lower energy prices, and could help push the world toward climate collapse.
Deben, who was asked by the government this summer to extend his term as CCC chairman until next June, said the perception that More gas is needed in the UK was wrong.
“The problem right now is that people see this as a never-ending case of increasing bills, and then you find some people foolish enough to say that because gas is so expensive, we should have more gas. As if the gas we produce ourselves It’s going to be different than the world price for gas. It doesn’t change any of the arguments about fracking, or anything else, actually.”