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Getting decisions about decarbonisation wrong risks hitting “those who can least afford it”, says Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice, in its role as the official consumer watchdog for energy, has responded to Ofgem’s State of the Market report, which finds that greenhouse gases fell last year by 2.5%, the smallest reduction since 2012.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“The fact that cuts to carbon emissions are slowing down when they should be accelerating brings the government’s decision to legislate for net zero by 2050 into sharp relief. 

“Much of the current debate is focused on the technical questions of how this can be achieved. But there is another public conversation which needs to be had - who pays for the transition to a low-carbon economy and how do they pay?

“Ofgem’s decision to focus on limiting the costs paid by consumers is welcome. But we believe the Treasury is best placed to look comprehensively at the issue of who pays and should establish an independent commission to ensure the costs of reaching net zero are fair to everyone. 

“Current efforts to decarbonise are largely paid for through people’s bills - an approach which disproportionately hits the poorest in society. We cannot get these difficult decisions about decarbonisation wrong, because it will be those who can least afford it who will pay the price.”