, 10 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Nearly three years on from loss in #Brexit referendum, you might have thought that @hmtreasury would have learned the futility of the #ProjectFear tactic. Apparently not, judging from Chancellor Phil Hammond in @FT this morning ft.com/content/036a55…
A big scary number - in the case, a trillion-pound claimed pricetag for UK #netzero - leaked to media without any calculations given and with no context. Credibility zero, as everyone knows economic model outputs are only as good as the assumptions and inputs... so what are they?
Break the figure down - and assuming that the figure is expressed in constant 2019 numbers, but who knows? - that's about £30bn per year. Which doesn't sound quite so scary even if it's correct, with UK GDP around £2.5 trillion per year
Does it include savings from reduced air pollution? We don't know. Does it include trade benefits of early adotion? We don't know. Are its energy system costs up to date? We don't know. Does it include benefits of reducing climate change impacts? We don't know
By contrast, @theCCCuk revealed much about its approach to economic calculations theccc.org.uk/publication/ne…. And as it makes clear, decarbonisation has historically proven much cheaper than economic model outputs - because models can't capture benefits of innovation and competition
As @PickardJE's article shows, some things @hmtreasury is complaining about are happening anyway, without #netzero. No petrol and diesel vehicles by 2050? Er - yeah! Even Grayling's 2040 ICE phaseout plus business plans of manufacturers will deliver that
Hammond's letter seems to imply all costs will be borne through govt spending, which just isn't true. Also unusual in ignoring business, where @CBItweets and others are up for #netzero...
... and saying it'll mean a transformation in farming - which @NFUtweets wants, @Minette_Batters having set UK farming aspiration of reaching net zero by 2040
However... the most important line of @PickardJE's article isn't the #ProjectFear scary number, but '...it is understood that Mrs May is set to introduce the legislation by June 11' - whatever Treasury says. The second most important line is @BorisJohnson's endorsement
All in all, an odd, ham-fisted and - if Jim is correct - futile intervention, suggesting that @hmtreasury has learned very little from the events of three years ago. #ProjectFear failed then, and seems set to fail this time too
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