The Climate Change Act was passed in 2008 without Parliament giving any consideration to its cost, even though the government’s original impact assessment showed the potential costs (borne by British consumers and taxpayers) were nearly twice the maximum benefits (enjoyed mainly by the rest of the world as a result of the UK’s contribution to the abatement of global warming). Back then Parliament was able to enjoy a gratifying and immediate sense of righteousness from unilaterally helping to ‘save the planet’, whereas the costs lay in the distant future. Now those costs are starting to come home to roost. They are substantial. They are set to grow rapidly. And they are borne disproportionately by the less well off, the elderly and the vulnerable. The best way to help ‘just about managing’ households would be to rein back
on these costs.