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Zero Carbon Commission Backs £27bn Carbon Tax

September 24, 2020

By Paul Homewood

h/t Dennis Ambler



From Business Green:


Carbon tax could generate £27bn by 2030 that could be invested into Covid-19 recovery efforts, emerging green technologies, and cushioning against any rise in household bills, campaign group argues

As the UK prepares to leave the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) at the end of the Brexit transition period, it remains to be seen how the government will price carbon to incentivise different sectors to slash their carbon emissions in line with its 2050 net zero target.

While the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) set out a plan earlier this summer for a UK ETS that broadly mirrors the EU’s cap-and-trade system, the Treasury is simultaneously consulting on the potential for a carbon tax.

While advocates of emissions trading systems – which set a cap on emissions within a sector and gradually reduce it over time – argue that the approach allows for a ratcheted reduction in emissions in line with decarbonisation targets, critics counter the mechanism is administratively complex, unfairly benefits politically influential sectors, and results in volatility in prices and weak emissions caps.

The Carbon Commission this week firmly placed itself in the latter camp, arguing in a major new report that economy-wide carbon pricing should be introduced from 2021 that rises incrementally across different sectors before universally settling on £75 per tonne of carbon dioxide by 2030.

The group, which brings together Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven, former Committee on Climate Change Chair Lord Adair Turner, and Green Finance Institute CEO Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, said that imposing a tax across the entirety of the economy from 2030 onwards would allow the nation to reach its aim of net zero emissions by 2050, while also offering investors and businesses with a simple price signal that provides long-term certainty and mobilises investment in net zero infrastructure.

The white paper, which collates eight months of public opinion research, expert witness testimonies, focus groups, and independent analysis from Frontier Economics, LSE, the Grantham Research Institute, Vivid Economics, and the University of Leeds, has been endorsed by a stellar line up of climate experts, including climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern, International Monetary Fund policy expert Ian Parry, and UK100 director Polly Billington.

"A higher, simpler and more broadly applied carbon price is a crucial element in the fostering of a post-Covid economic recovery that is consistent with net-zero emissions by 2050," said Lord Stern, who serves as chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. "The ZeroC report contains detailed, thoughtful and pragmatic advice which the government would be well advised to heed."

The Net Zero Carbon Commission estimates the revenues from the proposed carbon tax would reach £27bn by 2030 – funds that could go towards supporting the Covid-19 recovery, driving innovation and investment in clean technologies, such as carbon capture, electrification, and hydrogen, and cushioning rises in household energy bills, they said.

£27 billion a year amounts to £1000 per household, and this is on top of the current cost of subsidies paid out.

The idea that the money can be reinvested in coronavirus recovery is absurd and so utterly unscientific that it is hard to see how Lord Stern, who after call is an economist, can write such nonsense. (Well, actually I can see how, but it has nothing to do with economics!). Imposing such a tax on the economy would damage any recovery, not aid it.

As for using it to subsidise energy bills, where is the logic in taxing them, just in order to subsidise them?

In reality, most of the revenue will inevitable be wasted on subsidising green alternatives, which otherwise would not be economically viable. When fossil fuel use is ended, the carbon tax revenue will dry up, but we will still be left with expensive renewable energy.

I have a suggestion. Let the government send out annual bills of £1000 to every household in the country, clearly labelled “CLIMATE CHANGE TAX”, and see what the reaction will be!

  1. JimW permalink
    September 24, 2020 2:50 pm

    All any tax does of any type whatsoever, is destroy money. There is no ‘balance sheet’ in a country with its own currency. This will just add to other stupid ideas to reduce liquidity just at the time the country needs it. Any ‘spend’ on green energy or whatever comes from the BoE creating it through commercial banks or directly through gilts, just like all other. However anything which reduces productivity, by replacing efficient things with less efficient things just impoverishes the nation as a whole even though it might make some rich. This is called stealing from the many for the beneft of the few. Those advocating it are clearly related to feudal landlords, they have centuries of experience.

  2. dennisambler permalink
    September 24, 2020 2:52 pm

    “independent analysis from Frontier Economics, LSE, the Grantham Research Institute, Vivid Economics, and the University of Leeds”

    Nothing independent about this lot, Frontier Economics has former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnel as Chairman,

    LSE and Grantham are the same entity with Stern chairing the LSE Grantham Institute. Vivid Economics was set up by LSE former co director Sam Fankhauser, formerly with Stern at IdeaCarbon and its offshoot the Carbon Ratings Agency,, where they were also colleagues with Christiana Figueres.

    Fankhauser was also Chief economist at GLOBE, where Deben was President:

    Leeds has another LSE offshoot:

    Simon Dietz mentioned there, was seconded to the Stern Review from the Tyndall Centre and has never looked back. Major careers and loads of funding from the public purse for all of them.

    • ianprsy permalink
      September 24, 2020 8:53 pm

      This is all so one-sided. Isn’t there ANY government responsibility to look for balance? Where are MPs like Graham Stringer?

  3. September 24, 2020 2:55 pm

    How much of these taxes are funneled back into the politicians as it is a slush fund. The same is true for “foreign aid” and the UN, etc.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 24, 2020 7:41 pm

      Tick VG, Joan.

  4. Geoff B permalink
    September 24, 2020 3:31 pm

    Climate Change Act is law, until it is repealed then this nonsense is going to be seen as the way forward to meeting the requirements of the act. Get used to it. The only hope is that as prices and shortages increase then there is a mass protest, like the poll tax. COP26 might be a turning point, if only we can get some protests going.

    • Ariane permalink
      September 25, 2020 11:39 am

      Piers Corbyn and friends were intending to protest in Glasgow outside the 2019 COP but it was cancelled.

      • Ariane permalink
        September 26, 2020 7:36 am

        My mistake: Glasgow CoP was due this year – 2020 – but was cancelled due to the pandemic. Due to be held next year. A protest is eminently suitable.

  5. Coeur de Lion permalink
    September 24, 2020 3:41 pm

    Isn’t anyone going to point out the stupid futility of the Zero Carbon Dioxide plan? China must be watching with a secret smile.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      September 24, 2020 4:06 pm

      Matt McGrath at the BBC is on to that one.

      Climate change: China aims for ‘carbon neutrality by 2060’

      China will aim to hit peak emissions before 2030 and for carbon neutrality by 2060, President Xi Jinping has announced.

      Mr Xi outlined the steps when speaking via videolink to the UN General Assembly in New York.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        September 24, 2020 4:53 pm

        At the current rate of stupidity ‘the west’ will be defunct and in societal collapse or under Chinese rule by 2060, and in no position to hold China to account for failing to meet this ‘aim’.

        It is of course just a ploy to defuse resistance in the west to self-destruction on the grounds that China isn’t following, and so China can evade any border/trading carbon tax.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        September 24, 2020 7:57 pm

        “China will aim to hit peak emissions before 2030 and for carbon neutrality by 2060”
        Ben, I have a thing about people (politicians) ‘trying’ (aka ‘aiming’) to do ‘something’ – instead of committing to succeed..
        ‘Trying’ is a commitment to failure. Example: Ask me to paint your house by Friday. I say I shall ‘try’ to do so. On Saturday you tell me I have not completed the painting, as agreed. Oh no, says I, I only said I would ‘try’ to do it by Friday.
        QED: Trying is failing. Get a commitment to succeed instead.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        September 25, 2020 12:30 pm

        A Torygraph ‘analysis’ by Emma Gatten (describing Xi’s announcement as a ‘massive climate coup’) covers the story here: I liked this bit in particular:

        ‘… it could also be the most important move for the climate since Mr Xi’s last surprise agreement on climate change, with Barack Obama in 2014, which led to the Paris Agreement

        Except that Obama was conned in 2014. Yes, it led to the Paris Agreement – but that was a ‘deal’ that put the West on the hook of emission reduction while exempting China (and other ‘developing’ countries) from any such obligation.

        Why are we so keen to believe in China’s good intentions?

        Emma goes on to say:

        it may be the best chance of reaching its [the Paris Agreement’s] updated aim of limiting warming to 1.5C.

        Except that in its 2018 report the IPCC said that, to achieve the aim, annual global emissions should be reduced to 18.5Gt p.a. by 2030. Yet China’s annual emissions (which Xi says will continue to increase) are already 11.2Gt – i.e. 60% of the IPCC target.

  6. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    September 24, 2020 5:27 pm

    I too found the following to be absurd:
    . . . revenues from the proposed carbon tax would reach £27bn by 2030 – funds that could go towards supporting** the Covid-19 recovery, . . .

    **See squandered, next:
    Before the first funds are collected, skimmed, and squandered under this program, the Covid-19 thing (aka Panic2020, or coronadoom crisis {Briggs}) will be over. Well, the deaths will be mostly over, the destruction might go on.
    The best thing a government can do at this point is to get out of the way.

  7. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 24, 2020 5:32 pm

    Weather is not climate!

    Whilst not plugging an imaginary forecast for July 2050 to scare you to death about climate change – 43C in Worcester LOL:-

    The Met Office managed to report reality:-

    “Last night the temperature fell to -5.0°C at Altnaharra, making it the coldest September night in the UK since 1997. The record minimum temperature for September is -6.7°C, recorded in Dalwhinnie on 26th September 1942.”

    (Whilst checking the data I remembered I recorded a very low temperature in October not ‘that’ long ago on the South Coast, around -8.5C, we even had a slight snow covering, and that does seem to tally with the October English record of -10.6C in Wark in 1993.)

    • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
      September 24, 2020 5:51 pm

      As in this case, it is incredible how many paused video clips catch the speakers looking like teens making faces at each other.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 24, 2020 8:05 pm

      I loved the ‘dress appropriately for the weather, yet the forecaster was dressed for Autumn.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 24, 2020 8:09 pm

      Has the Met Office now taken on the role of Goebbels? Is this what we pay them for?
      I do hope, like Goebbels, their time wil come.

      • dennisambler permalink
        September 24, 2020 10:30 pm

        Met Office is now under the control of the BEIS, minister Alok Sharma, Chief Puppet for COP 26. The Met Office is now politicised, hence their output.
        The Met Office is a Trading Fund of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

        Last year a BEIS committee was taking input from Gail Bradbrooke, XR, some woman from WWF and Bryoni Worthington, on how to speed up the “transition” to “Net Zero”.

      • Ariane permalink
        September 25, 2020 11:47 am

        The Met Office is part of the World Meteorological Organisation which was part of the origins of the carbon-dioxide-emissions-cause-global-warming campaign, together with the IPCC and UNEP – late ’70s. The BBC has been a member of the Commonwealth Broadcasters Association who are in the club too.

  8. September 24, 2020 6:43 pm

    You ain’t seen nothin’ yet…

    UK can be ‘Saudi Arabia of wind power’ – PM
    By Paul Rincon
    Science editor, BBC News website
    1 hour ago

  9. Harry Passfield permalink
    September 24, 2020 7:22 pm

    “Carbon tax could generate £27bn by 2030” – taken from the hard-earned money of people and sent on boondoggles that are not giving value for money. I weep for the generation of my young grandson. I so hope there will be someone within who will managed to inspire the truth and lead.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      September 24, 2020 9:03 pm

      Carbon taxes ‘generate’ money like batteries ‘generate’ electricity – losses all round!

  10. M E permalink
    September 24, 2020 9:19 pm

    Both Major Parties in the New Zealand Election in October are aiming at zero carbon emissions. Both Female leaders are arguing about other environmental issues though , especially the concerns of the agricultural sector. New Zealand exports agricultural and pastoral products also timber to Eastern Asia. Neither leader has any scientific education whatsoever but they like to keep the Greens happy in an MMP Parliament if they need partners to form a government.

  11. September 24, 2020 10:35 pm

    Look at recent history. 1930’s to 1950’s aircraft. High hopes for airships, then very large sea-planes and lastly jets on the horizon. Since then more changes and absolutely nothing like all the experts said twenty years before. Same today solar and wind and all the usual suspects in lockstep heading to the cliffs edge.

  12. Gamecock permalink
    September 24, 2020 10:37 pm

    ‘Carbon tax could generate £27bn by 2030 that could be invested into Covid-19 recovery efforts, emerging green technologies, and cushioning against any rise in household bills, campaign group argues’

    What you could do with the money invalidates the entire proposal. The proposal is an increased tax on carbon (dioxide) emissions, ostensibly to reduce emissions. Trying to buy support by talking about what the money might be spent on declares you aren’t serious.

    Agree with Hultquist. Talking about ‘covid recovery’ in 2030 is just goofball.

  13. Streetcred permalink
    September 25, 2020 5:09 am

    ” [ … ] it is hard to see how Lord Stern, who after call is an economist, can write such nonsense. ”

    Not at all, you see Stern has form on the board writing trash … I give you the Stern Report as an example.

  14. MrGrimNasty permalink
    September 25, 2020 10:32 am

    BBC propaganda cloaked as comedy ‘Frankie Boyle’s New World Order’ pulled out the Brian Cox graph video last night to support it’s total veracity. The guy who dared suggest NASA adjusts the data was of course pilloried. If only the likes of Boyle and Ranganathan had a brain-cell between them and any sense of inquisitiveness, they might find climate change isn’t a clear cut issue, maybe even start to ask some intelligent questions like how could anyone accurately known the temperate of the entire earth including all the ocean surface since 1950, let alone 1850.

  15. donteachin permalink
    September 25, 2020 12:56 pm

    Up here in the north the Grand Solar Minimum has certainly arrived. Very cold all week. Will someone please tell Boris!!!

  16. George Lawson permalink
    September 28, 2020 7:18 pm

    I see the picture at the top shows cooling towers emitting harmless steam, with no smoking chimney in site.

  17. George Lawson permalink
    September 28, 2020 7:19 pm

    sorry ‘sight’

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