My five ideas to the new prime minister on climate crisis
Dear Mr Johnson,
Following my letter to you last week on climate change here are my suggestions that your Government could take now to help stop the earth heating up so rapidly, particularly as you promised in your victory election speech “to make this country the cleanest, greenest on earth.”
1 Sales of solar panel installations have slumped during the last four years by more than 75 per cent after generous subsidies guaranteeing home owners an income from selling power back to the grid were eroded completely in 2019. Then to fit in with the rest of Europe on October 1, 2019, your Government implemented a 15 per cent VAT rate increase to 20 per cent affecting installers and users where the cost of materials is above 60% of the total installation cost. Can you look at bringing back some subsidies and now we are leaving the EU put the VAT rate back to 5 per cent.
2 Continuing the VAT theme could you also consider cutting the rate on home improvements from 20 per cent to 5 per cent. Groups including the Federation of Master Builders, the British Property Federation, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the UK Green Building Council have calculated that the move could create 95,000 jobs, address the housing crisis, unlock a £1 billion “green revolution” by increasing insulation in homes and generate an extra £15 billion in taxes.
3 Allow more onshore wind turbines. SSE, Scottish Power and EDF point out that it is the cheapest form of renewable power. It is Britain’s biggest green source of electricity, supplying more than 7.25 million homes and will help the UK to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Renewable UK, the trade association, pointed out there had been a plunge in development following the Government scrapping subsidies in 2015. Could you also look again at this idea of subsidies for onshore wind turbines and encourage investment in 6,000 more offshore wind turbines which is what your advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), have proposed?
4 Accelerate the move to electric cars. This seems an obvious climate change move, yet electric cars make up just one per cent of new car sales, while ironically gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are outselling green vehicles by 37 to one. So better incentives are needed here as a matter of urgency, plus banning sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 at the latest.
5 The Government should begin setting targets now to ensure almost three billion trees are planted by 2050 to end Britain’s contribution to global warming, as suggested by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
I await to hear your comments, especially as we must meet the 2015 Paris agreement, which seeks to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels to avoid dangerous climate change. Thanking you in anticipation.
Owner of Green energy company Noreus Ltd,
0845 474 6641,
University of Keele Science Innovation Park,
Staffordshire, ST5 5AA.