A Climate Fund for Climate Action
At a glance:
– Climate politics in the UK is suffused with inequality. The top 1% of earners by income has generated roughly the same carbon footprint in a single year than the bottom 10% has in more than two decades. In other words, it would take 26 years for a low earner in the UK to consume as much carbon as the very richest do in a single year.
-The top 1% on its own (around 670,000 people) have a larger carbon footprint than the entire 3rd income decile (equivalent to ~6.7 million people)
-There have been missed opportunities. If a carbon tax had been set at the price proposed by the Swedish Ministry of Finance (approximately £115 per ton of carbon), revenue raised from the top 1% would have amounted to £126 billion over a twenty year period. Changes to the tax system are vital if future opportunities are not to be missed.
-£126 billion would have been sufficient for the UK to:
•Invest in almost five times current offshore wind capacity
•Triple current solar (PV) capacity
•Double onshore wind capacity
•Add 2.1 GW of tidal energy capacity and add a similar amount of pumped storage hydropower.
•Retrofit almost 8 million homes, upgrading their efficiency to EPC “C”, cutting energy bills while reducing overall emissions.
– These investments would amount to drastically replacing gas-generated energy with renewable sources, and would decrease dependency on imports.
– With no UK carbon tax in place, the richest 1% have been free to ‘dump’ disproportionately large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere for little to no cost, creating a burden now shouldered by the rest of the population. To green the UK economy, and bring about the change current and future generations desperately need, this must change.