Skip to main content

UK Government considers and then ditches its carbon tax on consumer goods plan

by Patrick Lavery, Feb 8
1 minute read

A leaked memo seen by The Times suggested the government was considering a proposal for a carbon tax on products such as meat, cheese and heating. It was set to be part of a carbon reduction blueprint in the run-up to COP26 which the UK is hosting.

big ben london during daytime

However, according to the Daily Mail the prime minister, Boris Johnson, blocked the idea. It was not seen as a ‘vote-winning’ strategy. The government had also faced criticism from the National Farmers Union who warned of a competitive disadvantage to UK-based farmers if the tax was not applied internationally.

So what?

This episode shows the challenge facing governments who need to make unpopular decisions in order to act on climate change. How much will politics and the necessity of winning votes shape decision making? What influence can groups like the National Farmers Union have on government policy? Will a carbon tax on consumer goods ever materialise and will it have international support?



by Patrick Lavery Spotted 10 signals

Have you spotted a signal of change?

Register to receive the latest from the Futures Centre.
Sign up

  • 0
  • Share

Join discussion

Related signals

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our 'Cookies page'.