Climate change targets 'could add £500 to fuel bills'

Caroline Cassidy

David Cameron insists he aims to make the Coalition the "greenest government ever" but as always, the cost of achieving this looks likely to fall to the taxpayer.

climate change targets fuel bills
climate change targets fuel bills

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A new study has warned that the Government's climate change targets could add £500 to the average family fuel bill in just four years.

The report, by Dr Richard Wellings from the Institute of Economic Affairs, suggests the Coalition's "idealogical" plan to cut carbon emissions will only damage Britain's economic recovery and will ultimately do little to combat climate change, all the while increasing financial pressure on householders.

Official figures suggest that the cost of building wind turbines (that will then need to be connected to the National Grid) will cost £100 billion over the course of the next 10 years.

Dr Wellings warns that the drive towards a greener future could see fuel bills increased by £10 billion by 2015 - a rise of almost £500 per household.

"It is clear the Government's current plans will impose severe burdens on both business and households yet will fail to make a significant difference to the climate," he wrote, adding that there is still much "scientific uncertainty" surrounding the climate change issue.

Despite the Government's plan to slash carbon emissions by 80 per cent by the year 2050, Dr Wellings' study suggests that the huge investments needed to achieve such results will eventually "crowd out" investment in other industries, leading to businesses quitting Britain and taking their carbon emissions (and their jobs) elsewhere.

And as well-meaning as those climate change targets are, it looks likely to hit the taxpayer where it hurts... in the wallet.

What do you think - is the Government right to set such ambitious targets and are you happy to foot the bill? Leave a comment below...