Jeremy Hunt claims to be a Green Conservative. Now’s his chance to prove it | green politics

Jeremy Hunt, the new chancellor, declared himself proud of the Green Conservative Party in March of this year when he joined the conservation environment network of deputies.

He said at the time: “Now more than ever, in light of the global gas crisis and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is imperative that we decarbonize the UK economy by 2050. We must develop more domestic clean energy, including renewables and new nuclear power. It lowers people’s bills, enhances our energy security, and avoids the worst consequences of climate change.”

Now is his chance to put his words into action. He also faces, by some estimates, a huge gap of at least £60 billion in the country’s finances, and a list of clear green measures, big and small, that could help it close the gap. “If this chancellor could recognize that the same reforms could alleviate both the cost of living crisis and the climate crisis, he would laugh,” said Doug Barr, UK policy director at Greenpeace.

The first is the 150 billion pounds that the government would have spent on it Support people’s energy bills, now to be scaled back from April and refocused by Hunt on the poorest. This is a good start, but more repair will help.

In addition to changing targeting, a consultant can cut the bill to the treasury with a few simple actions. home isolation will be the key. Britain has The most beautiful homes in Western Europe Isolation rates have fallen by 90% under David Cameron’s leadership. The former chancellor, Kwasi Kwarting, has shrugged off impeachment, but Hunt indicated on Monday that he might return to the table. Yet, in the fall, it is It’s never too late to startAccording to the former Conservative Environment Minister and current Chair of the Climate Change Committee, Lord Dippen.

A nationwide isolation program could cost £5 billion, but it’s possible Boosting the economy by £7 billionCreating jobs and reducing waste. As a former health minister, Hunt will also know that cold, damp homes make people sick, so helping them stay warmer will reduce pressure on the NHS.

At the same time, the chancellor could restore and expand the £15m public information campaign to save energy that Liz Truss scrapped, apparently for ideological reasons to avoid the emergence of a ‘nanny’.

Every unit of energy that households provide means that the government will need to spend less to pay its bills. Some of the advice is obvious – put on a jacket and turn the thermostat down – but it’s there many measuressuch as changing the flow temperature of a condensing boiler – which can reduce gas usage by 8% without making people cooler – which is somewhat technical or that most people don’t know about.

The current unexpected tax on the bumper profits of energy companies weak And it could be better designed to recover tens of billions more. While he’s at it, the advisor should cut some other non-essential tax breaks granted to fossil fuel companies. “We need an overhaul of the North Sea tax system, which for years has meant that some fossil fuel giants have not paid any taxes, or negative tax, in the The UK, though, is making huge profits.”

Hunt opposed hydraulic fracturing, at least in his own constituency, so he should need little persuasion to eliminate the possibility of Costly tax breaks for cracking too.

Some renewable energy companies have also made huge profits from high electricity prices. These companies could be encouraged to give up some of the gains or reinvest them through reforms in the electricity market, which must be accelerated. Solar energy is also several times cheaper than gas, so gear Planning to stop solar farms It’s also actually costing the UK and should be another turn-off.

Green measures have often been presented as a “burden,” but many produce a clear financial return. Air passenger duty does not touch Half of the people in England who do not travel in any yearand can be targeted both on alternative rail routes to encourage greener rail travel and on frequent flyers and long-distance routes.

Undoing the airport expansion and curtailing the £27 billion road construction scheme would cut greenhouse gas emissions and save money.

Private sector investment will also be a key factor in boosting economic growth as the UK heads into recession. Investors are looking for green opportunities, Ed Matthew, campaign manager at E3G Thinktank said: “The advisor must put a green financial system at the heart of his strategy. A zero-net-investment plan is needed to maximize the leverage of private financing to a zero-net transition. This can It provides a huge boost to the economy.”

Finally, SUVs are a fast-growing scourge on the streets of our city, increased air pollution and increased fuel use. Taxing them adequately would help increase treasury coffers, reduce expensive oil imports and send a clear signal that richer road users are not exempt from austerity.

Mike Childs, Head of Policy at Friends of the Earth, said: “To fund the transformation we need to see, the UK government must embrace The polluter pays principle.. We need to see a significant increase in vehicle tax rates for luxury cars and SUVs, along with increased tolls for road users such as lower emission zones to help pay for better public transportation, cycling and walking infrastructure.”

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