Aldersgate Group’s response to the 2022 Autumn Statement


Reacting to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement, Nick Molho, Executive Director at the Aldersgate Group, said: “The Chancellor understandably had to focus his attention today on tackling the gap in public finances. Despite this, it was positive to see the renewed commitment to the UK’s 2030 emission reduction goals made ahead of COP26 and to hear the Chancellor’s recognition that doubling down on low carbon power generation and increasing energy efficiency investments are both essential to address the cost of living and energy security crisis. We welcome the commitment for more funding on energy efficiency – although would add that this funding is needed before 2025 – and the creation of an Energy Efficiency Taskforce could also help tackle key policy gaps as long as it is conducted speedily. However, the Government must ensure that the application of vehicle excise duty on electric vehicles from 2025 does not materially make the purchase of these vehicles less attractive, especially given the cut in upfront grants in recent years.”

Nick Molho added: “To put the UK on a path to lower energy costs and secure energy supplies, and to attract investment and job creation across the country, the Prime Minister and Chancellor should focus over the coming months on accelerating the UK’s transition to net zero emissions, as this will ultimately slash the UK’s vulnerability to volatile fossil fuel prices and unlock much needed private investment [1]. Beyond increasing much needed investment in energy efficiency, the Government must ensure that the necessary grid infrastructure investments are made to deliver the UK’s critical 50GW target of offshore wind by 2030. It should also maintain momentum on rolling out charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and accelerate the deployment of innovation funding and market signals to drive investment in critical low carbon industries, such as green steel and cement. As part of its Review of Electricity Market Arrangements, the Government should look at reforms such as a Green Power Pool to delink the price of gas from the price of electricity for the most vulnerable households and energy intensive businesses. [2]”

Nick Molho concluded: “The Chancellor and Prime Minister should also remember that setting and delivering on ambitious targets on nature restoration and resource efficiency is essential to improving the overall resilience of the UK economy to extreme weather events and supply chain disruptions, as well as a major source of investment and job creation. Key priorities in the coming months should include rolling out environmental land management schemes, strengthening and implementing the Environment Act targets and putting forward a new Environmental Improvement Plan.”

[1] Aldersgate Group, The green line: a route out of crisis and towards prosperity
[2] Aldersgate Group and UCL, Separating electricity from gas prices through – Green Power Pools: Design options and evolution