A group of MPs hopefully bicycling to meetings under the Committee on Climate Change banner have suggested starting a new tax war on private cars, hinting that now's the time to start boosting fuel duty once again; seeing as the coronavirus crunch has helped smash the global price of oil.
The main thrust of the CCC's progress report is that the covid-19 crisis should be turned into an opportunity to get in as many green and green-ish reforms as possible, as many other sensible countries are attempting. Committee chief exec Chris Stark said the UK's progress to net zero is "patchy or uncertain" in most places though, adding that the country is "not where we thought we'd be by now" after announcing the grand ambition for 2050 last year.
The findings and recommendations to government departments are all very familiar. The CCC recommends "low-carbon retrofits" of our creaking housing stock, peatland restoration, walking and cycling infrastructure, more remote working support, and the "reskilling and retraining" of the workforce to better suit future low carbon industries. Specific mention of fuel tax rises was left to chair Lord Deben to make and take the heat for, as he said government needs to "...make people who choose the right way to do so cheaper than those who choose the wrong way."
The full CCC video presentation of its 2020 Progress Report may be found online in the form of a Zoom meeting replay, when loads of men sat in their houses... wearing suits... on the hottest day of the year... to talk about climate change. We hope the irony was not lost, but suspect it has already evaporated away along with the sweaty imprints their buttocks left on their Parker Knolls. [The CCC via BBC]
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