Decarbonizing UK economy will cost 1 trillion pound, cannot be delayed - Hammond

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond leaves Downing Street, as uncertainty over Brexit continues, in London, Britain May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain cannot put off reducing greenhouse gas emissions but must be aware that the 1 trillion pound ($1.27 trillion) cost to the economy will limit other desirable public investment, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Friday.

“Clearly we can’t put off decarbonization, but we have to understand what this level of commitment of capital to decarbonization means for some of the other investment programs that we might have wanted to do,” Hammond told reporters while in Japan for a G20 meeting of finance ministers.

On Thursday the Financial Times published a letter from Hammond to Prime Minister Theresa May noting that the cost of eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 could be 40% higher than an estimate previously given by government advisors.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Alistair Smout