Net zero targets: Influences rise in taxes

The United Kingdom has made significant strides towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but higher taxes may be required to reach this goal. This is according to Lord Nicholas Stern, a leading economist who believes that private and public investments are needed in new technologies.

A former BP executive has urged the United Kingdom to follow the United States in promoting green technology. However, the government said that the UK is leading the way on climate change.

Lord Stern told sources that there must be growth and they must drive down emissions along with its investment in the new technologies that will get them where they need to be. However, this does not mean that there would be a delay in investment in health and education.

He mentioned that if they have to tax people more than what they have been they will. Also, if they need to borrow more for major investments then, they. This decision was made when the country was struggling with the high cost of living and the UK is facing the highest taxes since the Second World War. 

Lord Stern mentioned that more public investments could help the environment and jobs as the government is also under pressure, from some departments, to deduct taxes.  A great report in 2006 on climate change for the government which was then led by Prime Minister Tony Blair, was written by Lord Stern. An updated version of this report was delivered to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2021. 

He is optimistic that, within a few years, a turning point will be reached in key green technologies, such as car battery production, energy generation, and fertilizer production, with AI playing a central role. According to Lord Stern, private investment will be able to fund most of it, however, the government will have to be involved. 

Lord Browne, a former BP CEO who now manages a private equity fund that invests in firms that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, wants the government to provide more assistance to businesses. The Inflation Reduction Act by President Biden involves tax credits and subsidies for producing renewable electricity, electric vehicles, hydrogen, and sustainable aviation fuel. It also involves money off for the consumers who buy US-made electric cars. 

Some of the UK Ministers that include former Business Secretary Grant Shapps, have been unsure of President Biden’s move as they are worried that it gives US businesses an unfair advantage.

Subsidies like these are mostly financed by borrowing and tax revenue. Lord Browne asserts, however, that there exists one source of tax revenue that could be directed more effectively. However, Lord Brown is concerned that, with so many factors to be considered, such as securing the United Kingdom's energy supply, environmental concerns may have been pushed back.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated at the COP 27 climate conference last year that the energy crisis was ina factor in speeding up the energy transition. The government claimed in a statement that the United Kingdom leads the world in combating climate change with policy initiatives that have backed 68,000 green jobs since 2020.