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Reducing GHGs Will Increase UK GDP, Report Says

Cambridge EconometricsIf the UK holds to its commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below their 1990 levels by 2050, there would be a 1.1 percent increase in gross domestic product, according to a report by Cambridge Econometrics.

The report looks at the likely results of the four interim emission-cutting goals set by the government, the last of which would end in 2027, against a scenario in which the last three targets were missed.

British-based businesses would benefit directly from the measures and changes required by a low-carbon transition, such as the development, manufacture and installation of low-carbon technologies in the power sector, the manufacture of low-carbon vehicles and components, and the manufacture and installation of energy efficiency measures in homes.

Many businesses not directly affected by the changes would benefit indirectly from the additional spending power of households and the ripple effect this would have on the wider economy.

The report predicts that demand for oil and natural gas would be cut 30 and 55 percent, respectively. This would reduce annual imports and reliance on foreign sources.

In addition to the GDP increase, the report suggests that meeting the reductions set out in the carbon budgets would lead to the creation of an additional 190,000 jobs. Workers coming out of unemployment or underemployment would see the biggest gains in this area.

In addition, the report predicts higher real disposable incomes of £565 ($916) per household per year, as opposed to a scenario where no action is taken to stop the effects of climate change.

The report does not assume any increase in exports of low-carbon goods and services from the UK.

According to a 2012 study from the Institute for Public Policy Research, manufacturers need more incentives to invest in low-carbon and energy efficient technologies if the UK is going to meet its low-carbon economy goals.

The UK set its binding carbon reduction goals in 2011.

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