Britons’ bills set to jump £400 a year to meet Boris’ net-zero goal

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The National Infrastructure Commission has said industries not on track to hit net-zero emissions by 2050 will have to start forking out large sums of money to cover the cost of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. When the goal was enshrined into law in 2019, Britain became the world’s first major economy to pass such legislation.

The commission, which operates independently from the Government by advising ministers on economic infrastructure, detailed its plan in a new report.

It said taxpayers must spend up to £400million over the next 10 years to help create an industry to store the gases if the UK is to meet its ambitious carbon pledge.

However, the advisers said sectors responsible for polluting the environment should be pouring up to £2billion into the fight each year themselves.

The report said businesses should be made to cough up even if it means consumers have to pay more for goods.

Analysis carried out for the commission shows Britain’s poorest households will have to scrape together an extra £80 per year by 2050.

And the richest in society could see their annual costs rise by £400.

The report suggested ministers could step in to help soften the blow for those in the poorest bracket.

Sir John Armitt, chairman of the commission, argued that some industries have no clear path laid out to how they will achieve net-zero by 2050.

He said: “Taking steps to clean our air is something we’re going to have to get used to, just as we manage our wastewater and household refuse.”

He added: “While engineered removals will not be everyone’s favourite device, they are there for the hardest jobs.”

Since entering Downing Street in July 2019 Boris Johnson has sought to paint the Tory Government as a green-fingered group eager to make Britain a cleaner place.

But backbenchers in his own party may revolt against the Prime Minister if he seeks to act on the advice of the commission.

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There is growing concern in the backbenches about the costs that green commitments could level against families.

The UK’s 2050 net-zero pledge is estimated to cost the country £1.4trillion, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

In March, research carried out by Carbon Brief showed the UK was already halfway to meeting its target.

The website said Britain’s greenhouse emissions last year were 51 percent below the levels recorded in 1990.

Last year the UK’s emission fell by a record-breaking 11 percent after the government adopted the target the previous year.

However, research has said the fall was largely due to the lockdowns caused by the Covid pandemic.

Emissions are expected to rebound this year or next as the economy recovers.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said he believes the UK will see a “steady” economic recovery post-pandemic, but warned of “bumps on the road” in the next year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it expects the UK economic output to grow by seven percent this year – up from the 5.3 percent it predicted in April.

The UK’s 2050 net zero target was recommended by the Committee on Climate Change, the UK’s independent climate advisory body.

A net-zero target means any emissions would be balanced by schemes to offset an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Initiatives include tree planting or using technology like carbon capture and storage.

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