Meeting carbon reduction targets can have positive economic effect

A new report published by Cambridge Econometrics last week, showed that achieving the climate targets set out by the Independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) can have a positive effect on economic growth.

By 2030 the UK’s GDP could increase by 1.1% in net terms by reducing our carbon emissions in line with the targets suggested. This economic growth would result in 190,000 jobs created and UK households would be more financially secure, due to the newly created employment opportunities.

The study was based on a scenario where the UK meets our carbon budgets compared to a scenario where the UK does very little to meet these targets.

The report, commissioned by WWF-UK and based on Cambridge Econometrics’ rigorous modelling of the UK economy, compares a scenario where the UK meets the first four carbon budgets recommended by the CCC (which requires a cut in emissions of around 60% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels) with a scenario where the UK does little to reduce its emissions.

The study also found that by reducing the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels we could become more energy secure and would make our energy bills less volatile. Furthermore, a reduce in carbon would improve air quality thus reducing healthcare expenditure by £96m.

Paul Ekins, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy at UCL, said: “This report reflects a robust piece of work carried out by some of the UK’s best macro-economic modellers, using one of the UK’s most scientifically validated models. Its results are very interesting, suggesting that by 2030 the UK can be made better off in terms of GDP and employment by meeting the carbon reduction targets recommended by the Committee on Climate Change and accepted by the Government, than if it had not tried to do so.”

“Other benefits include greater energy security, through lower fossil fuel imports, and reduced air pollution from industry and vehicles. These are policy objectives worth pursuing vigorously. The Government’s task now is to generate through its policies the investor confidence that will enable these projections to be turned into reality."

This article, including its image, has been adapted from an article published by EurActiv.