London, 2 August – Nigel Lawson, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1983 to 1989, has warned Boris Johnson that he is being misadvised on the real costs of Net Zero.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Lord Lawson warns that “the overall costs are likely to be twice and probably three times the Government’s £1.4 trillion estimate.”

Lawson also recommends that the Prime Minister should seek a broader spectrum of economic advice in order to obtain a more balanced and more realistic cost assessment of his Net Zero agenda:

“It is important, as your colleague Steve Baker has noted, that you find more balanced sources of expertise, researchers and economists who can shake the tree, and guide you towards practical and realistic policies able of taking the public with you.”

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The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

July 30, 2021

Dear Boris

It has been reported that you have decided to delay the planned ban of gas boilers until 2040. If correct, this is a wise decision, which will save your constituents, and people across the country, tens of thousands of pounds.

However, British households are still threatened with a burden of net zero costs that is simply unaffordable: an additional cost of £10-12,000 for buying an electric vehicle and an estimated £7,000 per household for upgrading the electricity distribution grid. And that is just to scratch the surface of what will be necessary.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has shown you some extraordinary estimates of the cost of decarbonising the economy – extraordinary in the sense of being highly implausible.

This is only heightened by their refusal to publish the underlying calculations of their cost estimate. The experience of recent weeks – with the reality of £12,000 heat pump installations refuting CCC claims that homes could be decarbonised at modest cost – shows that their numbers are not credible.

The advice you are getting from BEIS appears little better. Analysis of offshore wind farm accounts shows that costs, far from falling, remain virtually unchanged over the last ten years. It is now clear that electricity prices, which have doubled since the advent of the Renewables Obligation, will double again unless you change course soon.

The GWPF has published a series of papers on the estimated costs of Net Zero in key sectors of the UK economy, concluding that the overall costs are likely to be twice and probably three times the Government’s £1.4 trillion estimate.

Each time you accept the advice of the CCC or BEIS without scrutiny, you will be forced to reverse course as soon as the real costs hit home and public anger results. It is important, as your colleague Steve Baker has noted, that you find more balanced sources of expertise, researchers and economists who can shake the tree, and guide you towards practical and realistic policies able of taking the public with you.

I have enclosed a short GWPF paper that sets out a workable alternative to the current Net Zero policies.

Yours ever,

Nigel Lawson
Director

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August 2, 2021