April 20, 2021

UK to accelerate carbon emissions target to tackle climate change

UK to accelerate carbon emissions target to tackle climate change

Boris Johnson is set to announce progressive new climate change commitments, which would mean the UK should be on course to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035. The impact for most households will be in introducing more electric cars, low-carbon heating, renewable electricity as well as cutting down on meat and dairy.

IZA World of Labor Nico Pestel has consulted the evidence and has found that a shift toward more renewable energy sources improves environmental quality by reducing emissions of ambient air pollutants, which is beneficial for health and labor productivity.

However, in his article, Pestel warns that “the adoption of green energy policy usually entails subsidies for renewable energy sources, which leads to energy becoming more expensive for firms and private households. The extent to which this may stifle employment depends on the interrelationship of energy and labor as inputs in production technologies.”

The new climate change commitments will mean that homes will need to be better insulated, and people will be encouraged to walk and cycle more instead of driving. For the first time climate law will also cover international aviation and shipping which will mean that the cost of flying for frequent flyers will likely go up.

Environmentalists support the prime minister’s plans, which would bring forward the target for reducing emissions by 15 years, but also highlight that ministers have not met previous targets set by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). They also insist that it’s important for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to show how the transition will be funded. Leo Murray of climate charity Possible also approves of the decision but added that the country is “not on track to meet previous climate commitments and in many ways the government is still failing.”

Read Nico Pestel’s article Employment effects of green energy policies.