Magazine article Public Finance

UK Efforts to Cut CO2 Emissions Are 'Ineffective'

Magazine article Public Finance

UK Efforts to Cut CO2 Emissions Are 'Ineffective'

Article excerpt

The costs of emitting carbon dioxide are unlikely to rise high enough to stimulate green energy production, despite a range of government climate change policies, research has found.

A study from the Centre for Economic Performance, based at the London School of Economics, also concluded that carbon taxes hit the poor hardest, as tow-income groups spend proportionally more on fuel and energy-intensive goods such as food.

Report author Ralf Martin recommended a flat-rate cash handout for all UK taxpayers to counteract the effect.

He said such a 'poll subsidy' would ensure that carbon taxes functioned only as a deterrent to pollution. It would also help combat public scepticism about high taxes on emissions.

The UK has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by the end of this year, and by 80% by 2050.

However, it is likely to miss the first target. And, when 'imported emissions' - caused by goods consumed in the UK but made elsewhere - are included, the UK's carbon footprint has actually expanded. …

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