Climate change policy critic the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has warned in a recent report that government projections for the impact of climate legislation underestimate the increases in energy costs they will bring to the water sector and other heavy energy users.
The foundation has accused successive UK governments have "misled the public about the impact of climate policies on businesses."
Author of the report, GWPF member and director of the Renewable Energy Foundation John Constable, has cautioned that the need for revision of climate change legislation was urgent post the UK's exit from the European Union. "Improvements in economic competitiveness are still more essential as the UK prepares to withdraw from the European Union," said Constable. "Badly designed and needlessly expensive climate policies are an insurmountable obstacle and will need extensive revision in order to ensure this country remains an attractive place in which to invest industrial capital,” he added.
In its report, Energy intensive industries – climate policy casualties, the GWPF listed what it saw as three chief faults in UK government analysis of the impact of climate legislation. They were: focusing on the effects of policy cost on business expenditure rather than profitability; ignoring future effects of its environment policies; and looking only at the direct influences of energy costs while ignoring the knock on effects.
The GWPF report claimed the government had disguised the intensity of policy cost's impact by comparing it with total expenditure. It claimed in 2014 energy costs were more than triple business' operating surplus. On future impacts GWPF said government figures showed that energy and climate policy will up prices for energy intensive businesses by 76% by 2020. And the GWPF claimed the government's low fossil fuel price scenario has medium-sized business also facing a 76% leap in prices attributable to green polices.