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What’s Onward This Week

Public support for net zero shouldn’t be taken for granted. Huge strides have been made in recent years towards a national consensus that leaving a better world for future generations means changing how we power our country, build our homes, and travel around. But cracks in that consensus emerge when the public feel they are bearing the financial brunt of the transition.

That’s why our new research note on hydrogen matters. Our Head of Energy and Climate Jack Richardson sets out in detail why the political, economic, and moral case for the hydrogen levy just doesn’t stack up. And he proposes a sensible way to avoid adding £118 a year to bills: utilising the money saved by phasing out free allowances under the Emissions Trading Scheme, which haven’t yet been baked into Treasury forecasts.

Conservative backbenchers are already organising their opposition to the hydrogen levy, and Labour have tabled an amendment that spells trouble for the Government when the Energy Bill returns to the House. We hope that Ministers change course.

(Want to help us make the case for practical centre-right policies like these? We’re looking for a new Head of Comms. More details here.)

✍️ Research

Today we published Hydrogen: Who Pays? Our new report finds that the Government will need to raise £53 billion over two decades to reach its 10GW target, roughly £3.5 billion a year through the 2030s. If households are asked to cover the costs, Onward’s calculations suggest this could add £118 to their energy bills – on top of the green levies they already pay.

Instead of a levy, this report recommends using the revenue raised by phasing out free allowances for industrial and power sector pollution under the UK Emissions Trading Scheme from 2027. Onward analysis suggests that in most scenarios more than enough is raised to cover the costs of supporting the early hydrogen industry.

To find out more, you can read the full report here

📰 Media Mentions

Hydrogen: Who Pays? was covered on the front page of The Telegraph and in The Sun, Bloomberg, and Politico.

Onward’s Future of Conservatism Project was mentioned in pieces on ConservativeHome and in the Financial Times. Our second Future of Conservatism event featured in an opinion piece for The i

Burnt Out Britain was covered in a piece for The Telegraph on multitasking.

🌐 Onward Online

Deputy Director Adam Hawksbee reflects on the Conservative candidates who have announced they are running for London Mayor. 

Head of Energy and Climate Jack Richardson sets out the argument of our new hydrogen report.

🗓️ Upcoming Events

A Shot in the Arm: Restoring the UK’s capacity to run clinical trials

The development of COVID-19 vaccines was an unmitigated success. But alongside this success lies an uncomfortable reality – the UK’s attractiveness to large clinical trials is in decline. If the UK is to be a ‘science superpower’, it cannot allow its strongest research sectors to fall behind international rivals.

This event will consider, in the wake of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, what are the opportunities for growth offered by restoring UK clinical research? How will this stimulate innovation? How will capacity for research in the NHS be ring-fenced? What are the major causes of the decline in clinical trials in the UK? What are barriers currently impeding the ability to run trials? How are they recognised and addressed, especially considering differences between specialties? In addressing such questions, this panel will explore the need to restore clinical trial capabilities in the UK to deliver growth and improve the delivery of care.

Sign up here.

Event Graphics 2023 19 - Onward Newsletter 19/05/24

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