UK Government ‘must be clear’ on who pays for clean energy revolution

Clean energy
Wind turbines operate on the Innogy SE wind farm in Bedburg, Germany, on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. RWE's green energy business Innogy has demand for all the shares for sale in its initial public offering as the company heads toward the biggest European listing in years. Photographer: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

The UK Government “must be clear on who will pay” for the switch to a greener economy, according to a trade union.

GMB Union argue that the methods to switch the UK energy system away from fossil fuels should come from taxation, rather than “regressive bill subsidies which hit the poorest hardest”.

The Committee for Climate Change (CCC) report warned that in order to meet its net zero emissions target by 2050, the UK Government needs to close gap between what is being done and what needs to be done to meet existing targets to curb climate change.

It also urged the UK Government to show it is serious about its legal obligations.

GMB claim that decarbonising the energy system must come from “progressive general taxation”, not through adding costs to household energy bills, which “disproportionately hit lowest paid workers and those least able to pay”.

It added that securing renewable energy jobs is now “paramount” for the UK.

Justin Bowden, GMB national secretary, said: “GMB has always said any ‘green revolution’ must be paid from general taxation – including corporation tax – rather than the utterly regressive method now of green subsidies on household energy bills which hit those least able to pay the hardest.

“It is not that UK citizens won’t pay for the costs of decarbonisation, it is simply that millions simply cannot afford it.

“Recent comments from the likes of Caroline Lucas MP that costs per head in excess of £1,500 per head per year ‘are a price worth paying’ utterly misses the point and shows how out of touch they are with millions of ordinary people who don’t have that kind of cash.

“Securing decent jobs in the renewables industry and its supply chain, and fairness in how decarbonisation costs are met, is now paramount.”