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‘Overwhelming’ backing for strong climate action, UK study shows

climate

‘Overwhelming’ backing for strong climate action, UK study shows

The UK public backs a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher levies on flying and grants for heat pumps in order to tackle the climate crisis, according to the biggest analysis of policy preferences ever published.

Almost 22,000 people chose their favoured mix of policies to hit the government’s 2030 target for emissions cuts. A speed limit of 60mph on motorways and a campaign to reduce meat eating by 10% were also among the most popular measures, all of which had between 77% and 94% public support.

The public went further than the government, choosing to surpass the current carbon target by 3%. Age, location and political leaning made little difference to the policy choices, the researchers found, with an “overwhelming consensus” for strong and fair climate action.

The most popular suite of policies meant people earning less than £22,000 would be £44 a year better off, thanks to redistribution of the carbon tax to the less well-off and savings on heating and car bills. Those with incomes between £35,000 and £53,000 would pay £195 more a year to fund the policies. The policy suite was also estimated to support a million jobs by 2030.

The researchers said the public wanted the government to lead the transition to a net-zero economy, rather than leave it to tax measures and the market alone.

“The British public have chosen the future they want – one with green jobs, clean air and thriving nature – and which doesn’t hit the worst-off in the pocket,” said Tanya Steele, the CEO of WWF, which produced the report with thinktank Demos. “This is within our grasp, but only if the UK government listens and sets out a clear plan and strategy for getting there.”

The government has said it will publish its net-zero strategy before it hosts the crucial Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow from 1 November. The strategy will set out how the UK will meet its ambitious carbon targets and is seen as a key test of the nation’s credibility on climate.

The most popular policy mix selected by the public was:

  • A carbon tax of £75 per tonne on polluting manufacturing and construction businesses, with some funding to invest in new technologies, supported by 94% of people.
  • Better-integrated public transport coordinated by local government (93%).
  • Food campaigns and support from government, supermarkets and food companies promoting plant-based diets and cutting meat and dairy consumption by 10% (93%).
  • A comprehensive UK-wide electric vehicle charging network by 2028 (91%).
  • Raising flying costs, particularly on frequent fliers (89%).
  • Some restrictions on cars entering city centres and a 60mph speed limit on motorways (82%).
  • Support for less intensive farming and paying farmers to improve nature, including woodlands (79%).
  • Grants for heat pumps and home insulation for low-income households and low-interest loans for others, reaching 1.4m heat pump installations a year by 2030 (77%).

“There is an overwhelming consensus of support behind [these] solutions,” said Polly Mackenzie, the CEO of Demos. “The UK government must listen to the public and urgently set out a strategy that will provide a greener, stronger and better future for us all.”

The new analysis, titled The Climate Consensus, used a market research company to provide a nationally representative sample of 22,000 people, including participants from every parliamentary constituency. The participants used a climate calculator to choose the policies they preferred in order to meet the government’s 2030 target of a 39% reduction in emissions compared to 2019.

“The package that emerged is therefore more than just a list of popular policies: it is a measured set of choices, compromises and investments the public are prepared to make to tackle climate change,” the report said.

The range of policies offered by the calculator were taken from work by the government’s official climate change advisers, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), while the emission reductions were calculated using a government tool. The analysis was funded by the National Grid and ScottishPower.

The UK has cut its emissions by almost half since 1990, largely by phasing out coal and installing renewables to generate electricity. However, future cuts will affect people much more directly, including their cars and home heating systems.

Alok Sharma, the president of Cop26, and Kwasi Kwarteng, the business and energy secretary, wrote in 2020: “It is important that we involve the public and bring them with us, so that the decisions we make align with society’s concerns and values.”

Last week, Chris Stark, the chief executive of the CCC, said a UK-wide public information campaign on climate change and net zero could usefully be deployed, as is already underway in Scotland.

“There’s this feeling often of how difficult this will be. [But] many of the changes are profoundly positive, not just for the climate but also for things like health, air quality and our experience generally.”

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Business

Adopting CNG can reduce Nigeria’s inflation – FG

The Nigerian government has said that successfully adopting Compressed Natural Gas can reduce inflation, which soared to 33.69 per cent in April 2024.

The Programme Director of the Presidential Initiative on Compressed Natural Gas, Pi-CNG, Michael Oluwagbemi, disclosed this during a one-day South-South and South-East stakeholders’ engagement meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He noted that Nigerians can realize between 40 to 50 per cent savings from petrol upon adopting CNG.

“It can reduce inflation. It is cheaper. You can realize between 40% and 50% savings from patrol. This is good for Nigeria, and it is safer.

“It is 18 times safer than petrol and diesel. It is cleaner and safer for the environment,” he said.

He added that Nigeria would save about $2.5 billion by converting every one million vehicles to CNG.

Recall that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu asked all federal government ministries, departments and agencies to procure CNG buses.

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Business

Nigeria won’t need to import fuel by June — Dangote

Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Group, announced that by next month, Nigeria will no longer need to import gasoline due to the operational plans of the Dangote Refinery.

Speaking as a panellist at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali, Dangote highlighted that the refinery, which has already commenced supplying diesel and aviation fuel in Nigeria, has the capacity to fulfil the diesel and petrol needs of West Africa and the aviation fuel requirements for the entire African continent.

Dangote emphasised, “Right now, Nigeria has no cause to import anything apart from gasoline, and by sometime in June, within the next four or five weeks, Nigeria shouldn’t import anything like gasoline; not one drop of a litre.”

Highlighting how far the oil company has come, Dangote expressed how they are focused on ensuring that the continent will depend less on imports in the near future.

“We have enough gasoline to give to at least the entire West Africa, and diesel to give to West Africa and Central Africa. We have enough aviation fuel to give to the entire continent and also export some to Brazil and Mexico,” he said.

“Today, our polypropylene and our polyethene will meet the entire demand of Africa, and we are doing base oil, which is like engine oil; we are doing linear benzyl, which is a raw material to produce detergent. We have 1.4 billion people in the population; nobody is producing that in Africa.

“So, all the raw materials for our detergents are imported. We are producing that raw material to make Africa self-sufficient.

“As I said, give us three or a maximum of four years, and Africa will not, I repeat, not import any more fertiliser from anywhere.

“We will make Africa self-sufficient in potash, phosphate, and urea; we are at three million metric tonnes, and in the next twenty months, we will be at six million metric tonnes of urea, which is the entire capacity of Egypt. We are getting there.”

Dangote recalled how his dream for further investment in Africa as well as ending fuel importation in Africa has culminated in what is now one of the biggest refineries in the world.

“For some of us, despite the boom of the capital market in the US—you know, Google, Microsoft, and the rest—we didn’t participate; we took all our money and invested in Africa.

“We had this dream just about five years ago, and we said we wanted to move from five billion dollars in revenue to thirty billion dollars in revenue, and we made it happen. It is possible and now we have made it happen and now we have finished our refinery.

“Our refinery is quite big; it is something that we believe that Africa needs. If you look at the whole continent, there are only two countries that don’t import petroleum products, which is a tragedy.

“They are only Algeria and Libya. The rest are all importers. So, we need to change and make sure that we don’t just go and produce raw materials; we should also produce finished products and create jobs.

Speaking further, the African richest man said, “One of the things we also need to know as Africans is that we produce raw materials and export them when you export raw materials and somebody now keeps importing things into your continent and dumping goods. what you are importing is poverty and exporting jobs. So, we have to change that narrative.”

“We just commissioned in February, and now we are producing jet fuel, diesel, and by next month, gasoline.

“What that would do is that we would be taking most of the African crude that is being produced and also be able to supply not only Nigeria because our capacity is too big for Nigeria, but it would also supply West Africa, Central Africa, and also South Africa.

“We have 650,000 barrels per day, 1 million metric tonnes of polypropylene, and 590,000 metric tonnes of carbon black; those are the raw materials—ink, dyes and co.

“We are expanding more. This is the first phase and we are going out to the next phase, which will start early next year.”(tribune)

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Business

Customs FX rate for import duties rises to N1,530/$

The foreign exchange (FX) rate for import duties has been adjusted by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to N1,530 per dollar.

This was adopted on Friday, May 17, representing a 6.13 percent increase compared to the N1,441.58 adopted on May 6.

The NCS always adopts FX rates recommended by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for import duties based on trading activities in the official FX market

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