If the latest load of leaks are to be believed, it's because Sunak - despite his down-with-da-kidz cool chancellor image - wants to be known as a climate "sceptic" in order to win friends and influence people
https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... on-economy
Confidential documents leaked to the Observer reveal an extraordinary rift between Boris Johnson and his chancellor, Rishi Sunak, over the potential economic effects of moving towards a zero-carbon economy, with just weeks to go before the crucial Cop26 climate summit.
As Johnson prepares to position the UK at the head of global efforts to combat climate change and curb greenhouse gas emissions as host of the Glasgow Cop26 meeting, the documents show the Treasury is warning of serious economic damage to the UK economy and future tax rises if the UK overspends on, or misdirects, green investment.
Green experts said the “half-baked” and “one-sided” Treasury net-zero review presented only the costs of action on emissions, rather than the benefits, such as green jobs, lower energy bills and avoiding the disastrous impact of global heating. They said the review could be “weaponised” by climate-change deniers around the world before Cop26, undermining Johnson’s attempts at climate leadership on the global stage.
I know I keep banging on about the need for joined-up government response. But here we have the Treasury briefing against the Office for Budget Responsibility:
The Treasury’s approach is also starkly at odds with that of business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and the analysis of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in a report published in July this year.
On the costs of moving towards net zero, the OBR said in its report: “Between now and 2050 the fiscal costs of getting to net zero in the UK could be significant, but they are not exceptional ... While unmitigated climate change would spell disaster, the net fiscal costs of moving to net zero emissions by 2050 could be comparatively modest.”
The Committee on Climate Change, the government’s statutory adviser, has also repeatedly said the costs of action are small and diminishing, at less than 1% of GDP by 2050, while the costs of inaction are large and rising.
While there are concerns over how the costs could fall on poorer households, the CCC chief executive Chris Stark has made clear that ministers can choose to distribute the costs and benefits fairly, through the design of green policies.
which would be embarrassing at the best of times, let alone on the most important issue for a generation which the UK is hosting a crucial global summit on in a matter of weeks.
Whitehall sources said there was a belief that Sunak was keen to position himself as something of a climate-change sceptic in order to boost his popularity with Tory party members, and draw comparisons with Johnson’s green enthusiasms. “Rishi clearly sees an interest in showing he is not really down with this green stuff. He wants Boris to own the whole agenda.”
A source at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy confirmed that the Treasury was “kicking back” against many of the green plans being advanced by No 10 and Kwarteng. “They are not climate change deniers but they are emphasising the short-term risks, rather than long-term needs, which is what we are emphasising.”
Clearly Sunak has worked out the optimum strategy for his political career: he can still outflank Johnson on c.ntery, and thus stand a chance of being crowned King of the c.nts, but in pretty much the only area of c.ntery where increasing it is socially acceptable amongst the ageing support-base of his party (because it won't affect them as much and, as c.nts, they don't care).
In contrast to the Treasury’s caution, Labour committed at its recent party conference to invest £28bn extra every year until 2030 to secure a “green transition” creating good jobs with decent wages in the process.
Just as well there's an election coming up, then.