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‘Net zero policy risks making the poor poorer’

A new report from the Institute for Community Studies warns that the government's current net zero transition policies may worsen poverty levels

New research from the Institute for Community Studies cautions that existing government policies for transitioning to net zero could exacerbate poverty, particularly affecting the poorest 40% of households.

The report, published by the Institute for Community Studies at The Young Foundation, University of Leeds, University of York and Trinity College Dublin, highlights the need for an inclusive net zero strategy involving public participation to mitigate these risks and ensure a fair transition for all.

It recommends a shift towards integrated, person-centred policies that consider the unique challenges faced by different communities and households.

The report also calls for greater engagement with local authorities and communities to develop tailored solutions and unlock inclusive participation in the transition to net zero.

A Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson told Energy Live News: “This report ignores the fact we are already adopting a fairer and more pragmatic approach to meeting net zero that eases the burdens on working people.

“This means giving families more time to make the transition, ensuring they can switch to electric vehicles when it suits them, and only needing to switch to a heat pump when their boiler needs replacing from 2035 – saving some thousands of pounds at a time.

“This pragmatic approach is working, with the 50% increase in the Boiler Upgrade Scheme to £7,500 resulting a nearly 50% rise in people applying for a heat pump grant in December 2023 compared to the same month in 2022.”

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