Green growth

The EU tells us they are going to stimulate faster growth in the Euro area through commitment to faster decarbonisation.

They have announced a “Green deal” with access to just Euro 7.5bn of transition funds to subsidise the losing areas that face closures of mines, coal power stations, gas plants, petro chemical plants and the rest. They hope to top these funds up through money already included in their budgets for regional development

The big push comes from capital investment, where they suggest they might help foster a Euro 1 trillion investment programme across many industries and countries over the next five years. The EU itself will contribute to this investment through loans from the European Investment Bank . They plan a series of new rules and checks for private sector investment companies to encourage more of the savings they handle to be put to work in companies pursuing the green agenda.

The Commission is currently wrestling with the problem of inherited schemes for substantial additional investment in gas supplies as replacements for coal being phased out and to ensure sufficient capacity in energy supply. Some think they should refuse to assist in funding more fossil fuel schemes to accelerate change, whilst others are concerned that without additional and replacement fossil fuel investment the Euro area will be short of energy.

The difficulty comes over pace of change and over the interconnections of different sectors and activities. Over the last year the EU motor industry has taken a hit because tax and regulation has put people off buying diesel cars before enough are ready to buy electric cars instead. Car volumes are down and manufacturing has declined. Too speedy a transition away from gas energy could leave countries short of energy in total or could drive prices up with adverse consequences for energy intensive industry in a very competitive world.

Of course setting up new factories, launching new products, and investing in new ways to generate electricity and to deliver power to factories and vehicles creates jobs and adds to growth. It has however to be done at a pace which more than offsets the loss of jobs in traditional products and methods of production and propulsion. There also need to be good ways to retrain the people who are out of work and to reuse the assets that the old businesses can no longer operate profitably.

Central to success is a new generation of home heating systems and vehicles that people want to buy.

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188 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    The UK Government tells us they are going to stimulate faster growth in the Euro area through commitment to faster decarbonisation.

    There, fixed for you ! 😉

    What was it the last PM, and now this one, wants to do with our economy over the next few decades ? Plus there is also the Climate Change Act !

    I predict that the UK will ape the EU long after we have supposedly left. They know that they are committing economic suicide and know that a UK that is truly independent will flourish. The WA has tied the UK close to the EU and there is no way out. A shameful document only a country defeated in war or so spineless would sign.

    Shame on you !

    • Mark B
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

      Oops !

      Good morning 🙂

      • Hope
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        All this talk of celebrating 31/01/2020. First the U.K. Should have left 29/03/2019, second it should be celebrating leaving- not a period of vassalage described by Johnson’s and Rees-Moog. The current Tory govt is responsible for vassalage even with a “stonking majority”. During vassalage secret talks will take place about a possible trade agreement which should have been discussedyears ago per article 50 of the treaty. No legal requirement for. WA or PD or vassalage! This was invented by the Tory govt in collusion with the EU. Will the dishonest KitKat policy be central to discussions? Why has Mayhab and those participating still not been investigated?

    • Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Mark B – is this why we are being encouraged to rejoice and be merry on 31st so that we won’t recognise the fact that we’re not actually ”out”? People will sit back – just as they did in 2016 – and think ”Right, that’s sorted”. Let’s see what the end of the year brings, and then rejoice (hopefully). But the enemy has been given a breathing space in which to regroup (a so-called transition period) and they’ll be thinking up all they can to bind us in their ”ever closer union”.
      Why should we be celebrating what is really BRINO?

      • glen cullen
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Totally agree….its BRINO

      • Mark B
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        They could not ignore the result. They tried to get a second referendum going but failed. So they dragged it out hoping that we would just let it go. Nope, that did not work either thanks the the BXP. So no they have decided to Remain bit by bit. The WA, or so called deal, is the first step. The next step is the so called trade agreement which is in fact an Association Agreement – Norway Option but worse. ie We will be paying in far more.

        What will happen will be the same as Maastricht. The new Treaty will be presented to parliament at the last minute with no time for anyone to scrutinise it. It will be voted through regardless because of our supine parliament.

    • Bob
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Signing a Withdrawal Agreement with the EU is a massive mistake. It will lead to a Future Relationship Agreement where the EU can dictate.

      We should have repealed the ECA, ditched the CAP & CFP, offered continued tariff free trade or WTO, & told the EU how the rest will work.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        As everyone knows I was for the Norway Option. Not because I believed it to be better than full independence but because it got us out with the least resistance. But how can anyone be pleased with what has happened ? We will get a bad Norway style deal, albeit worse, and will have taken the best part of a decade to do it.

  2. Ian
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    This week’s winter anticyclone should have driven home the message of the futility of over-reliance on renewables, with wind producing 3 – 5% of our electricity, around half that of trusty old coal, or 1% of total energy. Solar has been effectively zero Nuclear has been in the 15% region.

    Those promoting zero carbon had better concentrate their minds on where all the rest of our energy is coming from.

    Now the Scottish government have revealed an estimated 13.9 million trees have been destroyed to build wind farms. This must be the environmental scandal of the century, and wind supporters call these machines ‘green’. Meanwhile the Green Mafia have the nerve to lecture Brazil on how they should manage their forests. To misquote a certain schoolgirl “how dare they”.

    • Leaver
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Not so sure that renewable are as futile as you say.

      30 years ago, they generated 0%. Now they are generating 3-5% as you say, with nuclear bringing in another 15%. Also, I believe we are having many days where no coal-fired power stations need to be used at all.

      Interestingly, they are even solving the baseload problem with solar. By heating salt, they have made solar farm which can keep driving turbine for 15 hours without sun, so right through the night.

      I’m actually pretty encouraged by the way things are going – but equally think it’s important to keep the balance between decarbonisation and economic growth.

      Also I actually think Trump is a huge asset to the green lobby. He is galvanising environmentalists like nobody I have ever seen. Maybe that is his secret intention. I do not know.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        But ..but what about the manufacture of windmills? Rare earth minerals mined in Inner Mongolia…toxic and radioactive waste?
        Fibreglass blades and concrete bases…half a tonne of coal to make one tonne of steel…and so on…

        • Leaver
          Posted January 25, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          Good points. I wouldn’t profess to understand the exact details on the carbon costs of all these matters. It is very complex as you point out. But ‘clean’ energy is definitely the future. As you point out, there’s a lot more that can be done to make it even cleaner.

        • dixie
          Posted January 27, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

          Are you not against the flat screen TVs, computers, laptops, mobile phones and all other electronic devices that caused the demand, which is still higher than that for EVs, for such materials in the first place.

          BTW EV batteries do not use rare earth minerals, neodymium is a rare earth element but it is used in electric motors not batteries, motors in ICE cars, drills, lifts, escalators, electric trains … as well as EVs.

          The minerals, processing and pollution you are concerned with is associated with all modern technology not just EVs.

        • hefner
          Posted January 27, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          EH, does the ‘concrete’ argument not apply as well to the construction of nuclear power stations? Hinkley Point is said to require 35,000 cubic yard (volume unit not weight unit) of concrete, some of it reinforced.

      • jerry
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        @Leaver; “30 years ago, [renewables] generated 0%. Now they are generating 3-5%”

        Trouble is in that time the UK has cut coal, oil and gas generation by more than 3-5%, without building dependables), meaning we now have to import via ICTs when wind and solar renewables are undependable.

        The real issue we need to address first is energy security, without that there can be no economic growth, only contraction.

        That brings us to the fact that de-carbonisation doesn’t appear to be the real issue for some, their agenda seems to be the de-industrialisation of certain economies but not others, otherwise why object to CCS or nuclear, but allow other economies to carry on using highly dirty industries/power generation -even building new…

        “[Trump] is galvanising environmentalists like nobody I have ever seen.”

        Is he, or have we simply seen the re-galvanising of the same Dem supporters, environmentalists and other activists that opposed him in the multi issue 2016 POTUS election who now, with the help of the MSM [1], can simply create a higher than otherwise S/N radio relative to their true anti Trump size.

        [1] who would have ever heard of “St Greta” had the MSM not Canonised her, allowing her to stand before the world at the UN, inc. COP, meetings and now WEF, and via a written for her speech attack Trump?

        • Leaver
          Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          Solar has certainly become dependable. It now works through the night, by heating salt – which can power the turbines through the night.

          Likewise, I believe they are building battery farms to store wind power.

          Though personally I believe nuclear must remain part of the mix, at least in the short term.

          I certainly agree that some greenies seem to have an anti-capitalist agenda. But that doesn’t change the fact we still need to decarbonise – but, like I said, while not battering the economy in the process.

          You are right. I cannot be sure of the counterfactual – by which I mean what would the green movement be like if Trump had not been elected. It’s merely an opinion. I simply have a sense he is a very marmite character, and is uniting both the alt-right behind him and the greens against him.

          • jerry
            Posted January 27, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            @Leaver; “that doesn’t change the fact we still need to decarbonise”

            Says who?! There is no actual evidence what so ever to say that, as pointed out by NickC below.

            But back to alt-energy sources; Solar does not work through the night, by definition how can it! You are conflating two totally different things, ability to generate and reserve capacity.

            Tell me, how will this reserve capacity you talk about actually work if there is not enough Sun, or the wing turbines have had to little/much wind and the turbine blades have not moved in days. renewables are by their nature undependable, unlike nuclear, hydroelectricity and fossil fuels that could be made clean emission wise by CCS.

      • NickC
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Leaver, The CAGW hoax is based on a number of unspoken assumptions. The fundamental one being that CO2 is the sole, or main, cause of current (150 years) warming. But the geological evidence is the reverse: that it is warming which causes a rise in CO2.

        The next assumption is that increasing CO2 today will be amplified by a current positive feedback to global temperature. Yet the fact that there has not been catastrophic global warming in the past indicates that the feedback mechanism(s) is (are) negative.

        There are many other factors, from poor modelling in the GCMs to inadequate computer power, to assumptions about what is the “normal” – ie was the global temperature in 1850 the normal and we are warmer; or is the temperature normal today and 1850 was colder?

        • Leaver
          Posted January 27, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          I agree entirely.

          Warming causes more CO2 to be released, which in turn causes more warming. This is a feedback loop – and a primary reason to lower CO2.

          It may be that there are natural feedback mechanisms than lower temperature – but that itself is a whopping assumption. Surely it is better not to mess around with the climate in the first place?

          And, yes, the climate is hard to model.

          Sure this means we need to decarbonise as – feedback loops are uncertain, the climate is hard to model, and while it seems the planet may self-correct, we don’t understand how it works at all.

        • hefner
          Posted January 27, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          Going through NickC’s comment in reverse:
          – 1850 was the year when a sizeable number of standardized reasonably accurate measurements of temperature started to be available in various places over the globe.
          – inadequate computer power? Still computers went from 10,000 floating point operations per second (that’s 10^4 FLOPs) in 1956 to some hundreds of petaFLOPS (10^15) in 65 years.
          – Clapeyron in 1834 and Clausius in 1850 were at the origin of the equation relating temperature and humidity (and volume/pressure). It can be made to show that an increase of 1 degree Celsius of temperature leads to an increase of 7% in the total humidity of a given volume (at fixed relative humidity). That’s why it is thought that a slightly warmer atmosphere is more humid and probably conducive to more precipitation. That is a positive feedback as more humid air leads to increased infrared opacity of the atmosphere (‘greenhouse’ effect). Via increased latent heat release, it is also thought the transformation of increased potential energy into increased kinetic energy (as in the Lorenz energy diagram) might play a part in somewhat stronger ‘extreme’ events like hurricanes.
          – water vapour is the strongest ‘greenhouse’ gas, but CO2, CH4, N2O, NO2, and the human-made CFCs and HFCs are also ‘greenhouse’ gases.
          So … all those to me do not look like unspoken assumptions.

    • rose
      Posted January 27, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      A sober article in the DT:

      Davos Doom-mongers herald a new dark age for climate science

      By
      Sherelle Jacobs Daily Telegraph Columnist

      23 January 2020 • 6:00am

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    The EU politburo is simply looking for new legitimacy, they will seek to do so also by keeping UK fisheries. The pressure is building for a long term access deal to our waters.

    Sir John, please request a debate in parliament on this issue, to test the views of government and parliament, and to extricate promises not to give away, again, a much needed and valued national resource.
    The Nation expects UK water for UK fishermen ONLY.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      The EU are threatening our service industry. For this threat to be removed they will demand unlimited access to our waters. They will get it. Our idiot MP’s don’t realise that the Single Market for services is not complete.

    • NickC
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Peter Wood, You are right, our ownership of our own EEZ fishing rights must not be negotiated away again.

  4. Everhopeful
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    The President of the European Commission said “People are at the core of the European Green Deal, our vision to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. The transformation ahead of us is unprecedented”.
    Unprecedented? So how about the move from agrarian to industrial? How about WW1?
    WW2 and the traumatic birth of the EU itself? ( never mind all the wars and recessions etc in between). Chaos makes money…for some!
    Has there been a single decade in history when people have been left alone to live their lives?
    And now..having stripped us of virtually everything we ever had “they” are at it again.
    This green lark has been going on for 30 odd years now. Kyoto et al. Have they lowered the temperatures yet? Or have they had to revise their targets?

  5. I. Wragg
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile in the real world………

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      This will only happen after France and Germany have secured sufficient fuel supplies to the detriment of the rest of Europe.

      • Mitchel
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Doesn’t France have to make a decision about renewing/replacing it’s large park of nuclear plants sometime in the next few years?

        France is the only western investor in Russia’s Arctic gas projects,both as a significant shareholder,through Total,in Novatek,which holds the exclusive development rights in the western Arctic,and as a direct investor in Novatek’s first two LNG projects.Opening a new lubricants plant just outside Moscow around eighteen months ago,Total’s CEO declared his ambition to become the largest foreign oil and gas operator in Russia-an ambition once expressed variously by both BP and Exxon.

        Novatek,I believe,is under US sanctions!

        • Mitchel
          Posted January 25, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          Germany,of course,has Nordstream I and Nordstream II!

        • hefner
          Posted January 27, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          France embarked on a large program of nuclear stations after the 1973 oil crisis, and had up to 71%/78% (depending on the reference!) of its electricity from them (379 out of 519 TeraWatts) from 58 stations in the 2010s.
          In the last few years various successive environment ministers (S.Royal., N.Hulot, E.Borne) have tried to grapple with the problems of old stations and of what to do with the estimated 200,000 cubic meters of highly radioactive material if these stations were to close.
          As often with Governments, procrastination is the way forward. Some stations (the more recent) will see their lifetime ‘move’ from 30 to 50 years. The old ones start being slowed down and a few shut down completely as more renewable energy comes to the network (from 9 to 16% of electricity from solar/wind between 2008 and 2018).

          The official French objective is to have only 50% of electricity coming from nuclear stations by 2030. Still a lot of work to do!

  6. Javelin
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    A headline article in the DT says lobbyists are furious that a letter was published.

    When you send a lobbying letter to the Government it SHOULD be published. It should not be the case that the letter should be private, or an expectation it should be private, or even an expectation it might get published. All lobbyists letters should be published in full and made available to the public. We need have transparency to avoid corruption.

    Can MPs not see this is the same moral scandal as fiddling expenses.

    From the Daily Telegraph

    “Business lobbyists are at war after a joint letter calling for corporate-friendly migration rules was made public by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) without permission from other signatories.

    Several groups listed as supporters of the letter to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, are understood to be furious it was made public, and fear the decision will further sour relations with the new Conservative Government.”

    • Javelin
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      As a suggestion – every minister should have a lobbyist twitter account. When a minister reads a lobbying letter they use a Government phone they photograph it and tweet it. The entire technology framework for publishing letters exists and is free and costs the price of a mobile phone.

    • jerry
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      @Javelin; “Can MPs not see [listening to lobbyists] is the same moral scandal as fiddling expenses. “

      Not sure that is necessarily the case, lobby is lobbying, you seem to be conflating lobbying with bribery!

      When writing a letter to your MP or local councillor pleading to have that new bypass built why should that letter be published, even if you own a haulage company that will benefit from such a road, a lot of others will also. On the other hand if you run a highway construction company who would be submitting a tender for the contract to build any such bypass -well yes- in such a case the letter should be published forthwith, and any politico, planning officer etc. would be daft not to…

  7. agricola
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    I do not instinctively like the idea of government directing industry or investment. They invariably get it wrong or change the rules to suit their own financial needs halfway through the process. Loss leaders to stir the market. Home electricity solar generation for example in both the UK and EU. The car industry example you mention. Government ignore science and engineering and go for the simplistic Greta solution because it makes them feel good. Do you want 95 year olds and teenagers in control of silent 0-60 MPH machinery. Electricity solves all is an expensive and strategic error that government will live to regret.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Diesel !

      When I was a lad diesel was dirt cheap. When the government started promoting it those who had been using it went mad as they could see that increased demand meant an increase in cost. They were right of course.

  8. agricola
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Sorry. Between MPH and machinery insert “in 3.0 seconds”.

  9. agricola
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Sorry. Between MPH and machinery insert “in 3.0 seconds”…..

  10. margaret
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    What do you suggest as new home heating systems?

    • Fred H
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      well if we are going to concentrate on cutting down old trees so we can plant new ones—-we could err….burn them?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      They want electric which is worse thab gas or electric with air or ground source heat pumps which are very expensive to install and maintain. They are misguided to push this agenda early.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        The heat pumps can be slightly more efficient in CO2 terms than just burning gas in the home (even allowing for the losses at the power station and in transmission). But they are too expensive to run and maintain for mose people. You also have to take into account the energy used in maintenance and manufacture or the complex units. When they are cheaper and more reliable people will obviously but them. No point in pushing them early.

  11. Sharon Jagger
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    All that you report about introducing things now, and without consultation, sounds typical of the way the EU operates. They do things because that’s what they want us to do, not because people want it.

    According to Patrick Moore, a Canadian academic on climate, weather etc, it’s because we are burning fossil fuels that a period of earth cooling is being masked.
    Drastically reduce that and we may find the earth temperature quickly cools, but with no measures in place for food growing and keeping warm.

    BTW with regards to having a bank holiday on the 31st January, which has been mentioned, but not discussed. I wonder if the idea of “independence day” puts off some politicians – why not have “UK day”?. The Australians have Australia Day…so why not UK Day?

    • Fred H
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I’d rather have a holiday on 23rd April.

    • Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Enslavement Day, I’m sorry to say.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        +1

    • mark leigh
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      I read the Patrick Moore article – it was compelling

      A warmer world is a whole lot better than the alternative!
      CO2 is plant food. We are carbon based life forms. Demonising that with which we are made is deeply worrying.

      Yes – use less, pollute less – all good. But rapid and wholesale enforced switching to unreliable alternatives is not the answer to the alleged problem.

      • Lester Beedell
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        Mark Leigh
        Patrick Moore’s posts on YouTube are terrific, also Piers Corbyn’s. Jeremy’s older brother who obviously inherited the family brains
        Hopefully more people are becoming aware of the Climate Change hoax which was started by Al Gore

  12. Stred
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    They are as deluded as Charles. Building a new energy supply based on untried and uneconomical technology while closing advanced and lower CO2 generation and transport will produce groeth and profits for big green business and investors but ruin everything else. It is the equivalent of digging holes and filling them in again to make work.
    This mad scheme comes from UN agendas and is intended to allow poorer countries to level up. They will overtake in short time.
    The climate hysteria is funded and the state education in Western Europe is busy brainwash children while the media is used to educate the population and censor criticism from practical engineers and scientists. The computer forecasts of rapid warming have already been found to be wrong twice and temperature rises reduced.
    We may need other sources of energy and need to insulate our older housing in order to heat economically but it can be done sensibly and economically.
    The rush to ban vehicles because of dangerous pollution is a false campaign for implementation of UN agendas. Pollution is much lower than in the past and the so called premature death statistics are a ploy to brainwash the population. Any improvement in lifespan will be so small that it will not be measurable.
    We really need to put some practical and unbiased engineers into the ministries and grt out of the EU completely before it all turns into a disaster.

    • Bob
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      “This mad scheme comes from UN agendas and is intended to allow poorer countries to level up. They will overtake in short time.”

      It appears to be more like the developed countries levelling down, in accordance with communist principles. Of course it only applies to the plebs, the rich and powerful will maintain their privileged positions as they always do in every communist society.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        +1

    • DavidJ
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 1:03 am | Permalink

      Indeed the UN Agendas 21 and 2030 are intended to destroy the world as we know it in favour of the self declared “elite”. Too many supporters think that they will be allowed to survive as part of that elite; they might have a nasty surprise coming if those plans succeed.
      The UN is not our friend and must be defunded and its policies disregarded whilst publicising them to open eyes.

  13. Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    So, as usual, the EU are in a hurry. They always try to walk before they can crawl, and it’s likely that most of this investment will get lost in bureaucracy, corrupt practices, or simply spent on the wrong things. Certainly a lot will be lost in tax subsidies.
    While we all want a clean planet with unpolluted air and seas, It is time politicians came to realise that carbon is not the enemy some make it out to be, and is a requirement of life, and especially for growing food.

    Enormous amounts of money end up in the pockets of already rich people, thanks to the wasteful carbon taxes, and it is time this false God was put to rest – Taxing carbon produces no change, otherwise they would have found a way to tax active volcanoes.

    • NickC
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Bryan, Well said.

  14. Andy
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    You don’t have to worry about what the EU does. You are leaving.

    Except, of course, what the EU does matters a lot here – seeing that it is so big and that it’s next door.

    And, as Switzerland and Norway have both found out, being a small player next to a big player is not straightforward – as you often end up doing what they tell you.

    For example the EU has told Mr Johnson where it expects him to install customs checks for goods being sent from Great Britain to North Ireland.

    Can anyone else think of a sovereign country which has internal customs checks?

    • Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Andy – ”it” is not ”next door”. Europe is ”next door”. The EU isn’t ”next door” to anything. It’s not a country.
      You seem to be continually confused about ”Europe” and the ”EU”.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Why then is there overwhelming support in both Switzerland and Norway for rearming outside the EU?

      • Led by the nose
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Norway is closing old oil fields but net is increasing its oil and gas production. Can’t you smell it?

        • Richard1
          Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          I’m not surprised. in the absence of any viable alternative (except nuclear) to the 85% of global energy supply still accounted for by fossil fuels.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 27, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        It’s not overwhelming. It’s marginal.

    • NickC
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Andy, It is truly remarkable that you praise the EU’s bullying tactics against its smaller neighbours. However, I very much hope that if the EU tries your bully-boy tactics on the UK, we tell the EU to go somewhere else.

  15. Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    As ever too little too late. It will be ponderous, bureaucratic and inefficient. Whilst I suppose anything is better than nothing in reality it is typical of their self important, interfering approach. They should legislate and butt out.

    The private sector is driving this faster, no pun intended, cue Tesla as an example and tree planting, reducing cost of renewable energy etc with public awareness and sentiment especially amongst younger generations making it unstoppable. Well done Greta Thunberg for keeping the subject at the top of the agenda.

    I am an ‘oldie’ but couldn’t care less what LifeLogic, has he got any Climate Change qualifications, and other out of touch with the current mood, people say.

    I know that chucking unlimited amounts of rubbish into our atmosphere and oceans cannot be good for our planet and I want it stopped.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      What are “climate change qualifications” the climate has always changed and always will? I read maths/physics Cambridge and later some electronics/physics at Manchester. Most sensible physicists (Corbyn’s brother, Dyson, Lindzen for example) know full well CAGW is, at best, a huge exaggeration and at worse a gigantic fraud against the tax payer. Trump, on this, is spot on.

      Greta and Prince Charles types are deluded “believers”. Why would you trust anyone who supports quack medicine, or left school at 16 or read Arch and Anth with two bad A levels in history or something?

      • NickC
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, Exactly right.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I agree on the “rubbish” but CO2 is not rubbish it is essential for tree and plant growth.

  16. Tabulazero
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Why on earth are you still talking about the European Commission only 5 days from leaving the European Union ?

    Move on.

    • bill brown
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero

      Because we are still members till the end of 2020, or did you forget

    • DavidJ
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 1:08 am | Permalink

      Are we really leaving? Certainly not until the end of the year and doubtful even then unless Boris ignores the WA and just walks away. Trading under WTO rules is fine; any alternative will not happen without giving up an unacceptable measure of control to the EU.

    • dixie
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      Because it’s acolytes are always with us, interfering in our affairs

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted January 27, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        The affairs of the fifty million who did not vote Leave are very much “our” affairs.

        • dixie
          Posted January 28, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

          And even more did not vote to remain.

          At the time of the referendum there were 46.5m registered voters, 33.5m people voted on the basis that a simple majority would determine the outcome, which it did.

          Don’t pretend you have the majority interest at heart, the majority decided in 2016. Instead, you will be disrupting and dividing for your own selfish reasons and for the benefit of a foreign power.

  17. Kevin
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    “adverse consequences for energy intensive industry in a very competitive world”

    According to Wikipedia, the German car industry has voiced concerns that the impending US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement could threaten their competitiveness. This makes it even more noteworthy that the “level playing field” clause (Clause 77) of the Conservative Party’s Political Declaration specifically provides that the future relationship “should also promote…effective implementation of the Paris Agreement” (emphases added). This brings to my mind Nigel Farage’s claim before the election that the Conservative Party’s negotiations with the EU (which the People, when directly asked, voted to Leave), mean that “we would never, ever be able to become more competitive than our European neighbours”.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      The Tories have deliberately negotiated the worst deal in history. This so that Europhiles / Remainers can use this as a reason to say BREXIT has failed and that we would be better off rejoining the EU. The high alignment means that rejoining would not be a problem. They have it all worked out.

      • NickC
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Mark B, I tend not to the conspiratorial, but it does seem very peculiar that the Boris WA (with its PD) is being promoted as Brexit when it is clearly not. Maybe we really will Leave on 31 Dec 2020, but the signs are not encouraging.

  18. Stred
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The amount given is equivalent to about one fifteenth of the present estimate to build HS2. The commission president gave a figure of a trillion when in Ireland and the missing amount is expected to come from other budgets. We need to get out fast.

  19. Dave
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    They are planning to stimulate growth through a war against a gas that is the stuff of life for all plant life? By wrecking industry on a continent wide scale they plan to make more jobs? What absolutely riidiculous drivel.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. But that is seems is the new fashion, mood or religion of of the time. Virtue signalling and anti-scientific drivel. The BBC do not even allow any climate realists on air.

  20. Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    “closures of mines, coal power stations, gas plants, petro chemical plants and the rest.”
    I wonder how many Green Politicians and Energy Experts have seen the figures of our electricity production?
    Between them Coal, Nuclear and Oil produce nearly 2/3rds of our supply (8.50 a.m. Sat). It is a good day for wind power so that is high up at 19.5% Solar? Biomass (a cheat at 2.5%). Hydro? All well under 5% together.
    Oh – and fracking is forbidden, naturally, so the oil comes from – Middle East, Russia…
    Meanwhile prices are very high for industry and a nice lady with a Yorkshire accent advises us to cut back on our electricity with smart meters.
    Electric cars? How do you actually fill them up? Especially if you live with your car parked overnight on the street. And I for one cannot afford £20,000 and if I could, I should go for something more user friendly.
    If ever there was a mad policy this must be it. And without electricity the computers go down.
    PS. We need more programmes where the “climate change emergency” is discussed by meteorologists with all sides clearly and sensibly represented like the one on Radio 4 recently. I do not like having my opinions assumed by the Good and Great.

  21. matthu
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Fostering a Euro 1 trillion investment programme across many different industries and many different countries over the next five years sounds awfully like the sort of foreign aid that is so vulnerable to corruption and waste, the sort that career globalists are so fond of. The sort that the 2016 US election was fought over when Trump vowed to clean it up. The sort that the impeachment effort in the US is all about as they desperately try to avoid Trump being re-elected.

    Yes, the EU has its own problems but they ate globalist in nature, and the UK government had better not commit to supporting them.

    • matthu
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      they are globalist in nature

    • cynic
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      The EU’s new 5 year plan! Sounds reminiscent of the Soviet era, and will probably be as successful.

  22. Iain Gill
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Central to success is something that stops the processes you make too expensive by tax and regulations just moving to China and India, otherwise all you have done is exported your pollution and pushed UP net world pollution. That sadly is basically all the deveoped countries have done over the last decades, and this is more of the same.

  23. Lifelogic
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    This is a totally misguided agenda. When these new technologies works and are cost effective people will move over to them. Rolling out duff technology early using tax payer funded bribes is a huge mistake. Pissing more money down the drain.

    Heating homes with gas or oil is many ways better than heating them with electricity due to the energy losses made at the power station and in transmission (circa 50%). If you use heat pumps it can be slightly better but these are very expensive, slow to heat up a cost house (so tend to be left on) and usually need larger warm (rather than hot) radiators.

    The totally bent “you can only think this way”, carefully selected “Citizen’s Assembly” is a very sick joke indeed and a complete waste of money. I read that the deluded, malthusian, BBC alarmist Sir David Attenborough will address members of this Assembly this weekend. So the attempt to indoctrinate them in this new religion already starting.

    How many of the 110 understand any physics, energy, climate or engineering or will they just be giving their gut feelings after seeing a Koala’s in a burning forest or a Polar Bear on a bit of ice?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Cold house not “cost”.

    • Arthur Wrightiss
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been reading about terrible bush fires in the State of Victoria. Something which D.Attenborough and St.Greta would be pointing to as global warming. Drought, temperatures as high as 47c, high winds, 12 people killed, a million sheep killed, thousands of cattle killed etc. The smoke reached northern Tasmania. Unfortunately for the climate alarmists this was in the year 1851.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Exactly.

    • dixie
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      Of course, if you property developers had done the job properly in the first place our homes would have built to good levels of quality and insulation and required a lot less energy to keep them warm.

      But you didn’t because you made so much more profit from cheap and shoddy work.

    • hefner
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Question is; are these 110 people so much worse than our distinguished MPs? As you have told us many times, a background in PPE or History does not appear like the obvious way to understand these questions. At least you might expect those 110 people to be closer to the ground and not flying in the rarefied air of Westminster.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 27, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Indeed but they have been “filtered” down to 110 (to cut out any realists who know what they are talking about) and told they cannot question the alarmist agenda. So it is all a total farce.

        • hefner
          Posted January 28, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          How do you know that? Some 30,000 letters were sent randomly to invite people to participate, then among those who answered positively (I would expect people with a broad range of views) 110 people were further chosen following the usual standards to get a representative set of the population. So I would guess not all are from the GWPF and not all from Greenpeace or FoE. Because Charles Moore was not invited does not make such a citizens’ consultation (consultation, got it) a total farce.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    The best way to cut emissions is to reduce the population. The people of northern Europe had decided to do this using contraception and abortion. They did it because they worked out that a higher standard of living, a lower rate of infant mortality and better education could be achieved if they had fewer children and concentrated all their money and efforts on them.

    The politicians threw this into reverse with uncontrolled immigration.

    Whatever science delivers will never be enough.

    All but the elite are going to have to get piss poor and Andy will blame it on Brexit. Uncontrolled immigration is not going to stop until this country is as bad as everywhere else, so a long way down yet.

    • One out, all out
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Ireland has taken a giant leap forward to health and now abortions are reaching dizzying heights. Like shelling peas. They are cooking on gas.Well done Ireland . You have saved the world from ..something or other.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      The problem for politicians and business is, that a falling population means less growth (GDP) and less profits respectively. So what better way to artificially inflate both than to import more and more people. To hell with tomorrow, that’s someone else’s problem.

  25. Dunc.
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Currently 18% of UK energy usage is met by Electricity, The rest , heating , cooking and transport is hydrocarbons , where exactly is the capacity to meet the other 82% going to come from?
    Throwing public money at private companies in the name of green initiatives has already been tried and leads to billions being written off and huge increases in prices to consumers.
    The Greens are ideologically anti capitalist, trying to decarbonise the economy is playing straight into their hands, the death of what is left of UK manufacturing would soon follow as energy prices increased and reliability of supply decreased.
    Recent calls by the Greens for a World Government to implement this overhaul , where democracy would need to be put aside, tells you what they are really after.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and much of this 18% is coming from gas and similar too (plus the moronic importation of wood (so call bio fuel) from North America. Plus can we rely on imported products (using a lot of fossel fuel energy to manufacture them) coming in overseas. Some this is due to the “renewable” dopes making energy too expensive to do it locally.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    James Forsyth on “Boris must save HS2 to keep Tory votes” (The Sun today)

    Really ????

    I know a lot of Tory voters and not one of them supports HS2 and all think that the money could be better spent on expanding bottlenecks throughout the transport infrastructure. Nor does HS2 reach the North where the voters are owed.

    There is no upper limit to the cost of this project, it seems. The first estimates seemed doubtful – now they have tripled surely only the most demented can believe in it.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Odd comment Annonymous. Massive support for HS2 in Birmingham on all sides. Having Birmingham and Manchester as cities at scale better connected to London ( + the local transport projects) is a big national win(assuming one is for growth and against inequality). There is certainly negativity towards delay and lateness of delivery and the continued reporting of cost mismanagement. These evidence a continued (and probably systemic) lack of delivery to the Midlands and North. If the Tories cannot gat a train lone built between its major cities it says a lot. Of course East Midlands and across London bits are debatable (political?). It is true that not delivering, or further delaying, HS2 L-B-M would confirm the Tories remain London focussed; a banker as Chancellor is unnerving enough.

      (Of course Labour started the London centricity with policies in the 1940s and 60s,/whether intentional or otherwise, but no one remembers this).

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        That is a very local benefit for an expenditure of over £100bn (without running costs) bearing in mind the annual national rail budget is £4.1bn.

        The money would be far better spent in the North and SW sorting out chronic overcrowding and lack of services if you’re worried about a London centricity. If fact HS2 is extremely London centric.

        Why do you think it’s going there ???

      • NickC
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Caterpillar, I know no-one who thinks that HS2 is a good idea for the North. HS2 will suck yet more people, talent, and initiative into London.

        It would be much better to use the HS2 money as the basis for undergrounds in Birmingham and Manchester, and a motorway link from Sheffield to Manchester.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Puff article offering a fig leaf of an excuse.

  27. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    30% of German electricity is generated by burning coal. No wonder they want the EU to chip in to pay for it to be phased out. Fortunately we don’t have to part-fund this now.

  28. Pat
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    What if decarbonisation is a pointless expense? If global warming theory is wrong then it’s pointless destruction of wealth- perhaps a thorough check would be in order?
    Even if global warming theory is correct decarbonisation is still pointless unless both China and India practise it which they show no sign of doing.
    In short the decarbonisation policy will impoverish those practicing it and have no effect on the planet.
    It should be remembered that German efforts to reduce CO² emissions have actually resulted in an increase, so it is quite possible that the proposed policy will fail in its own terms.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, and this is all very clear what planet are the alarmist loons on? They off no solutions even if were right on CO2 (which they are not).

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Resource-starved Japan doesn’t seem to have got the anti-carbon message either.Last November they joined a consortium to invest in Russia’s Arctic LNG-2 Gydan project(first production due 2023),last month a further consortium to invest in a Russian Pacific LNG project-Sakhalin-1(2027) and are currently mulling over participation in a vast oil development planned in the Russian Arctic,Vostok Oil.

      Apart from pulling Japan further into Russia’s orbit,these projects have additional geo-strategic significance as they involve substantial additional traffic on the Northern Sea Route(up 53% in 2019).

      Anyone interested further in the above and/or Russo-Japanese relations generally ,there is a Tokyo-based academic(not sure if he’s a Brit or American but he’s fluent in Russian and Japanese) who tweets out translations of news that doesn’t get into the western press and has just written an interesting piece_”Economic and Environmental Risks in Abe’s Energy Investment in Russia”(available at his twitter feed-@JamesDJBrown.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        a win-win move from Japan. Pay for resource help from Russia, while encouraging help against threats from China. Smart move.

        • Mitchel
          Posted January 27, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          Russia and Japan have just completed their first (albeit small scale) joint naval exercise-an anti-piracy exercise in the Arabian Sea.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      It has nothing to so with CO2 or the Earth’s climate. This is naked Socialism and corporate greed.

  29. Lifelogic
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    On the 22nd Jan, Philip Johnson wrote a very stupid and ill informed article in the Telegraph:- If it’s a choice between Trump and Greta, I’m with the teenage zealot
    You don’t have to buy into her apocalyptic angst to see that something has to be done on climate change.

    He even invoked an absurd parallel with Pascal’s wager. Even Pascal’s wager is a duff argument (which of the millions of belief systems would you pin your hopes on?). Pissing money down the drain on pointless and even actively damaging, expensive and ineffective green crap is the real disaster and is killing thousands.

    Millions more could be saved by spending the £billions on proven and sensible policies. As suggested in Bjorn Lombard excellent book – How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place

    Johnson was then destroyed by far better informed and far more rational members of the public. The citizen’s or public are not as daft as the establishment think. As we saw with Brexit despite the endless BBC lies & propaganda. Let us hope Boris J is not as idiotic as Philip J on this green lunacy. Trump on this is right clean air and a pleasant environment yes please a war on CO2 is idiotic, pissing money down the drain and will not work anyway.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Delingpod, James Delingpole’s podcast this week is good on this topic.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Trump at Davos:

      “But to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune-tellers — and I have them and you have them, and we all have them, and they want to see us do badly, but we don’t let that happen. They predicted an overpopulation crisis in the 1960s, mass starvation in the ’70s, and an end of oil in the 1990s. These alarmists always demand the same thing: absolute power to dominate, transform, and control every aspect of our lives.

      We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country, or eradicate our liberty. America will always be the proud, strong, and unyielding bastion of freedom.”

      What is wrong with this?

      Can the Boris Government give us some sense and positive vision too please? I do not want to see an English Graduate like Gove taking advice from a deluded 16 year old who is clearly being used and has no solutions.

  30. Andy
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    It is, for some, an uncomfortable truth that we are going to have to do much more to tackle climate change.

    We need to ban all new petrol cars from 2025. And all existing ones by 2030. We need a solar revolution – with panels to produce power and hot water on most roofs. Batteries will be needed to make the most of this.

    All trains should be electric. We need a massive expansion of wind farms and schemes like the Swansea tidal lagoon. We need the rapid development of electric engines for passenger aircraft. And we need to slash our meat intake. Many younger people are veggie or vegan anyway. So perhaps we should ration meat? Two portions a week. Young people who do not eat much meat would be largely unaffected – and the Brexit backing pensioners who fondly remember the war could get to enjoy a spot of rationing. Brilliant plan! Everyone would be happy.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Reduce meat intake – good idea. Let’s start by ending import of beef from RoI, pork from Germany and Danish bacon. In fact, all meat products from the EU, and just rely on what is reared in the UK. Can’t do this whilst in the EU of course.
      We can do our bit for climate change by stopping immigration completely (which again requires us to leave the EU). All these people coming to a country where keeping warm in winter requires the burning of fossil fuels, not to mention all the energy required to build housing for them – ecological madness.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        dave – – spot on.

        • turboterrier
          Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          Fred H

          Seconded

    • Dave Ward
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      “We need”

      Ah – the standard quote from those who don’t want to be affected themselves, but expect everybody else to be.

      “Batteries will be needed to make the most of this”

      Spoken by someone who clearly hasn’t the faintest idea how much electricity is needed to keep a modern 24/7 society running.

      ” We need a massive expansion of wind farms and schemes like the Swansea tidal lagoon. We need the rapid development of electric engines for passenger aircraft”

      Perhaps you haven’t seen the report into the huge area (17,283 acres ~ 13.9 Million Trees) destroyed in Scotland, in order to erect useless wind farms? As for tidal barrages – go and read some of the posts at Euan Mearns “Energy Matters” blog to see how that will never be a solution. Electric Aircraft – once again batteries are (and will remain) the sticking point for anything except the shortest commuter flights, assuming there is enough power to charge them in the first place…

      • MarkLeigh
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        Yup

        I did the calculation for how many wind turbines are needed to provide the energy equivalent for the nation’s car fleet. Assuming the problem of energy transfer and storage can be overcome (not trivial) the numbers are massive. We (UK) currently have the largest offshore wind turbine fleet at c.2,000.

        Number needed to “power” all our cars?

        55,000……

        It’s madness and eventually woke liberal thinking will crash against immutable laws of physics……

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 25, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

          Exactly. Alas, hardly any MPs have a clue about the laws or physics or a clue about energy engineering.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

            bit of a wild guess?

          • dixie
            Posted January 27, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

            Exactly? – so can you share the calculation and assumptions, or did you just read some trigger words?

        • turboterrier
          Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          Mark Leigh

          There was and always will be a problem with power supply that is totally dependent on the weather.

          The money thrown at wind farms over thw last few decades would have been better spent on making hydrogen gas the market leader for all our energy requirements simply because the nett result of its products of combustion is water. With the right funding from both the private and public sectors similar to that given to wind farms I am totally convinced that our scientists and engineers would have come up with the solutions to make this country a world leader in the whole process.

          • mark leigh
            Posted January 26, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

            There are some pretty significant technical issues to address if liquid hydrogen is to be used in the mass consumer market.

            AFAIK – Small molecule size means leak prevention is more difficult, and metal embrittlement is significant meaning exotics have to be used.

        • Trust in habit
          Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

          You know there isn’t a Climate Change crisis or you would not have been told there is. Trust government to lie.

        • NickC
          Posted January 26, 2020 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          MarkLeigh, Was it was yourself who produced the figure (back in 17 June 2019) of 55,000 wind turbines to power battery electric cars? If so, I replied with a corrected calculation. The approximation is c27,000. Still an enormous and impractical number, of course. The originals are posted in: “Carbon dioxide levels keep rising
          By johnredwood | Published: June 17, 2019”.

          • dixie
            Posted January 28, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

            27,000 is still too high as it ignores the likelyhood of increased nuclear, eg SMR, buildout and that significant numbers of EV operators also use PV to charge them.

            The main problem won’t be EV’s as they can have a secondary role as a grid store, it will be the need to provide heating with the move away from natural gas.

        • dixie
          Posted January 27, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

          Care to share your calculation and assumptions. On an energy basis the 55,000 is far too high while on a power basis you would not charge all vehicles at once from zero to full.

        • hefner
          Posted January 27, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          As of end of 2019, the UK had 11 offshore wind farms each with a capacity of at least 300 MW, that’s 5,303 wind turbines, for a potential total output of 8 GW.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted January 27, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            Capacity is the maximum output with the wind at the ideal speed. Not the real output on average!

          • hefner
            Posted January 28, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            Don’t you know how to read? I wrote “potential total output”. Do you know what potential mean?

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the government should order a mass re-print of the old WWII “Dig For Victory” posters!

  31. Lifelogic
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    JR any thoughts on the dire crime figures published the other day. The chances of a (reported) crime resulting in a charge has halved from 15.5% in 2015 to 7.3% . Also many perhaps even most crimes are not even reported so far worse than this (as most people already realise that the police with probably do nothing anyway). We have almost no deterrents – so it any wonder that crime is rising?

  32. Caterpillar
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Natural gas should be continued in short term, as we know, as replacement for other fossil fuels and in medium term to produce hydrogen (by steam regorming) to kick off the hydrogen economy. It should not be forgotten that because of where it is found most helium comes as a by product of the natural gas industry.

    (I won’t repeat the arguments for the benefits of plastic with recycle/clean burn, and for efficient meat on otherwise impossible/difficult to farm land. Policy makers should recognise these by now).

    I realise calculations are hard but could I just put another shout out for carbon/greenhouse tax with dividend and border adjustment if the UK is to follow/lead down this path.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      The carbon tax with dividend instead of emissions trading.

  33. Lifelogic
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Why buy a new electric car for £30K (with a range of perhaps only 120 miles and that take 5 hours to recharge and depreciates at perhaps £6K PA) + when you old car (worth perhaps £1000) is rather better, cheaper to run and a more flexible vehicle (plus it can go for 500 miles and refuel in 3 mins with little depreciation left to go)?

    Delay the purchase until better vehicles are offered – as this is clearly the sensible option. The electric cars still need the energy to be generated so are not even zero emmision. They can indeed be worse in many ways even in environmental terms.

    • Fred H
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      too much common sense there mate – – it won’t catch on.

    • ukretired123
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Exactly as going green means not throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      Making things last as long as possible such as the cleanest diesels is smarter than using energy to even build new EVs let alone run them. However manufacturers focus on selling new vehicles regardless.

      It would be interesting to hear what Carlos Goshen thinks on all this.

    • agricola
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      With present battery technology the EV will only work when automated battery change is built into the vehicle and can be done at automated change stations throughout the country, just as vehicle fuel is available today.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        why aren’t new electric cars designed with solar panels in the roof?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          They produce so little electricity per m2 and would be out of the sun much of the time anyway and not at the right angles. Also the extra weight would probably decrease the range of the car more than the electricity they produce would increase it.

          But some idiot in government will probably pass some law enforcing it!

        • agricola
          Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          I would guess than a solar panel could not produce sufficient power to run the car aircon, never mind all the other vehicle demands for electric power. The alternator is a better bet. I would add that in the last ten days I have been in the UK I have yet to see the sun. Solar panels have a use on the top fuselage surfaces of sailplanes to boost the batteries running some of the instrumentation. You do not normally fly sailplanes when the sun fails to shine.

          • Fred H
            Posted January 26, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            agricola ….you miss the point that electric cars run on a battery needing to be charged! Why not reduce the stationary charge time/cost while driving and parked? Unless I missed a fantastic new engineering feat alternators don’t produce when off! .

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic

      Exactly why I am still running my 20 year old 4×4 double cab pick up truck, which is still in excellent condition, not the best return in MPG (Automatic 3 litre V6 petrol) but because of no depreciation cost, low milage use, it is still a very, very cost effective means of transport.
      It is used as a second vehicle in the family.
      No devaluation at all, and whilst I can still get it through its Mot at reasonable cost, will continue to keep it, as a replacement more efficient vehicle would be many times more expensive to purchase.

  34. Atlas
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    All what you describe is based upon the assertion that carbon dioxide levels alone have caused an increase in global temperatures.

    May I humbly remind folk that CFCs (ChloroFluroCarbons), which you will remember were banned in the 1990s, are still in the atmosphere at appreciable levels. These CFC gases are more potent green-house gases than CO2 and could be a major cause of the temperature-rise figures being bandied about. The timescales for these CFCs to decompose is of the order of 50-100 years so they are still making a contribution to green house gas levels now and will do so for a long time to come.

    In other words, all these panic actions by Governments on going ‘Carbon Neutral’ could be an utter waste of resources

    • Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Yes indeed, Atlas. But it’s a darn good way of raking in more money, isn’t it? Why care about wasting resources if you can bleed the very gullible ‘great unwashed’ for your own (hidden) ends?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        It is indeed mainly a crony industry, a religion and a gigantic fraud against the tax payers.

    • agricola
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      The apostles of climate change have conveniently forgotten about the involvement of the sun in climate. It has been in control for billions of years. What will happen to all the Gretas of our World when the planet has been greened, but climate goes on changing as it always has done. I am all for cleaning up our environment and reducing mans impact on the World, it has great potential benefits, but there is going to be much breast beating when it is realised that CO2 is not Satan after all.I would prefer to see government taking steps to mitigate the effect of climate change.

    • ignoramus
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Quite so. Way after the lifetime of many of us it may be discovered/admitted that global temperatures have always changed and CO2 had nothing to do with it, only very little in the 21st century, and it is the sun which is the primary cause of any substantial change, for hotter or for cooler.

      However reducing pollution and dependency on fossil fuels is a very good idea and the creation of new industries “to fight climate change” creates economic growth, just as digging holes in the ground and filling them in again would create employment if this was what people wanted. As has been stated elsewhere, big business is going Green because it likes Greenbacks.

  35. George Brooks
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Politicians frequently think too much about their next election and too little about the practicality of what they are proposing or supporting. Damning the diesel car is a classic example whereby they damaged the car industry and ignored the steps that have to be taken before we could change to electric vehicles.

    Of course we must get to all electric vehicles but it cannot be done in one move until battery technology in both storage and rate of charge is dramatically improved. So why miss out the obvious step to a hybrid vehicle which will reduce the use of fossil fuel by at least 50% with no exhaust from stationary traffic.

    Instead of crippling industry by banning fossil fuels over night, put the money into battery development so that every house can have a storage pack mainly charged from solar panels on the roof which will dramatically level out peaks and troughs of use and leave the national providers to look after the needs of industry.

    Be practical and stop pandering to the audience

    • hefner
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      +1. Very sensible but how many sensible people (including the main writer) do you usually count on this blog?

      • They are both wrong
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

        I’m sensible. Yes he is.

  36. Steve Bruce
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    If the UK government IS serious about reducing the amount of CO2 generated in the country why has it not mandated that the roof of every new build house is comprised of solar panels?

    • Stred
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Because even our civil servants worked out that it is the most expensive feed in to the grid, puts up capacity just when we don’t need it and vice versa.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Also solar cells on the roof are far more expensive to clean and maintain than ones placed at ground level. Often in the cloudly northern UK it might cost about the same as the value of the (intermittent) energy you generate.

        • Fred H
          Posted January 26, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          great idea- cover the postage stamp garden of the modern rabbit hutch housing with solar panels.

  37. Lester Beedell
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I was so disappointed to hear that Boris Johnson has fallen for all the Climate Change nonsense, if this continues we’ll all be back to the Stone Age, America is benefiting hugely from fracking while it’s banned here, why doesn’t Greta go to Beijing or Delhi if she’s so concerned, Co2 is an essential component for greening the planet, commercial growers pump it into their glasshouses to speed crop growth, my fire extinguishers contain…. you’ve guessed,,,, Co2, there was a video on YouTube to look back on 6 predictions about the climate that were made 10 years ago, how many came about, 0 out of 6
    The bush fires in Australia are caused by bad land management, not being permitted to carry out removal of dead vegetation, the aboriginals who still use traditional methods haven’t had these problems
    Sky News Australia have many great posts on YouTube, their sheer common sense is amazing
    The sooner politicians wake up to the stupidity of demonising C02 the better off we will be but I’m not holding my breath!

    • DavidJ
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget the extensive flooding some years ago when green policies forbade dredging by the riparian owners which had been carried out to prevent such flooding.

      • steve
        Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        David J

        Greens = people who ’cause’ things, usually misery and expense to others.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        Indeed. Even the appalling Grenfell disaster was largely driven by the idiotic net zero carbon religion. Thus cladding the building in insulation (incompetently) & at very large public expense (also using substantial energy to do so). This to save a trivial amount of heat energy losses from the flats for a small part of the year.

        Made far worse by the total inability of senior fire officers to see the blindingly obvious in real time.

  38. Newmania
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that this post seems to concern itself with what the EU are doing, a subject that no longer has anything to do with the UK . Aside from that there is a absurd suggestion that people who would have bought Diesels chose to walk .
    This is gearing up to NTTWB * the collapse of motor manufacturing, but I find it hard to believe anyone will take it seriously.
    So you think Europe should so this or that or the other ? No-one asked you and thanks to you no-one asked us . Welcome to little England.

    *Nothing to do with …etc

    Reply We remain under EU laws this year

    • steve
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      JR

      “We remain under EU laws this year”

      You might see yourself as being bound by EU rules, but a great many people don’t.

      As far as a lot of people are concerned EU jurisdiction was kicked out of this country the day we voted to leave.

    • steve
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      “Welcome to little England.”

      I suggest you read ‘The Island Race’ by W S Churchill.

      • hefner
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        And are you “roots” or “routes” after (re)reading it?

    • Andy
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. We have taken back control by remaining under EU law but giving up our say.

      I’ll wager a princely sum that we’ll remain under many EU laws for a lot longer than this year.

      • Fred H
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Andy – – wager your princely sum with a bookie now, that Labour or Libnodems will win the next GE with a majority. You ought to become a very rich man backing your views. I will sleep soundly knowing a bookie laughed all the way to the bank.

  39. glen cullen
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    And in the real world; where 80% of the population just want to work, feel safe in their own street and pay their bills.

    We have the other 20% of lobbyists, students, middleclass retirees, and journalist & politicians who strategise about global issues, climate change and the green agenda.

    Well its about time the politicians started listening to the 80%

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs springs to mind

    • steve
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      glen cullen

      “And in the real world; where 80% of the population just want to work, feel safe in their own street and pay their bills.”

      Steady on glen, not many people ‘want’ to pay bills.

      • glen cullen
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        okay….feel obliged to pay bills

        • Fred H
          Posted January 26, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          glen – – you were right the first time. And more than 80% are content to pay properly justified bills they knowingly incurred. Rip offs like the BBC and Council Tax, and energy bills are quite a different matter.

  40. DavidJ
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    The EU “Green deal” ! Bring it on, let them destroy their industry and impoverish their population. Let’s just hope that Boris isn’t taken in by the Green Agenda and our own industries not only thrive here but fill the gaps left in the EU.

    • Andy
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Johnson was elected last month on a manifesto guaranteeing we will reach carbon net zero by 2050 by investing in green energy and infrastructure.

      If you voted Tory this is literally what you voted for 5 weeks ago.

      • NickC
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Only a few Remain die-hards like you seem to have been gullible enough to swallow the CAGW semi-religious belief system. I suggest a referendum on the issue, rather than guessing what people voted for.

  41. Mark
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    It is almost certain that increasing the cost of energy will lead to severe economic damage, not growth. Time to end this nonsense.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Exactly.

  42. Ian Wilson
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Lester Beedell is spot on, as are many other contributors to this post, many clearly knowledgeable about energy and climate. Ministers taken in by climate and CO2 hysteria, regrettably including the Prime Minister contrary to his earlier more astute questioning of the climate prophets of doom, might do well to recognise there is a substantial part of the electorate who abhor the hysteria and the damaging energy policies derived from it.

  43. Lifelogic
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Exactly. Alas, hardly any MPs have a clue about the laws or physics or a clue about energy engineering.

    • acorn
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      What a winner! Lifelogic scores 20 comments in less than a hundred total comments at 4:28 pm. Thanks Ll.

      BTW. Having CO2 at 414 ppm causes plants to grow more “leggy” (more wood growth), it does not on its own, increase plants yield as a food source.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        It certainly does increase yields – that is why it is often done in greenhouse production systems. They do not do it for fun!

        • acorn
          Posted January 27, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          And, they add more than CO2 in the Greenhouse plant forcing environment. For the time being, put this in the Chlorinated Chicken file for a post Brexit FTA with the US.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Or indeed of hugely complex, chaotic, systems like climate.

      One thing for certain is that the idea that CO2 atmospheric concentrations are some kind of world thermostat is total lunacy. As is the idea that you can preduct the climate for 100 years time with computer modeling when you cannot even predict the climate for next month or even next week.

      But that seems to be what so many of these loony alarmist “believers” do actually think!

      • hefner
        Posted January 26, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        What I see dear LL is that you have adopted the chaotic meme. How do you define a chaotic behaviour in mathematical and/or physical terms?
        Just to help you his middle name was Norton.

  44. steve
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    JR

    “Central to success is a new generation of home heating systems and vehicles that people want to buy”

    Well I don’t see electric cars catching on, unless they’re internal combustion – electric i.e gas turbine, and hydrogen or bio fuelled.

    Battery only systems never will compare to piston engines.

    Hydrogen is the answer, in my opinion. Moreover internal combustion engines run exceedingly well on it and can be converted easily and cost effectively.

    A popular DIY hack in the US is onboard hydrogen generators, powered by the vehicle’s electrics, and using just water.

    But hey, why give us something that works ?

    You mention central heating systems, JR. As I understand it gas central heating boilers will no longer be manufactured in a few years time, and further to my understanding the intention is to move to technology that relies upon heat from outside.

    Interesting technology, except for one problem; there isn’t much heat outside during seasons when you need to heat your home. So how this is supposed to work at all let alone be as good as a gas fired combi simply baffles me.

    I see both these technologies going down as a big flop and an even bigger waste of money.

  45. John Waugh
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    In the magazine which I receive from The Institution of Engineering and Technology the sort of statements being made are as follows :
    In the UK , the risk of total blackout or significant partial shutdown of the transmission network is increasing .
    The rise in renewables is making failure more probable .
    Why ? Frequency management issues /stability- risking fault clearance times/matching supply to demand following sudden wind generation variations /reduced one hour notice of input variation from European Interconnectors/cyber attack/and other faults.
    Grid recovery from widespread collapse – black starting – would take several days in Scotland and probably London . The replacement of large scale generators e.g. Longannet in Fife with intermittent renewables is not good news in this respect.—it goes on—-.
    The UN gathering in Glasgow this year should be The get together of UN professional electrical generation and transmission engineers . It is time for strong engineering input in the debate.

    • turboterrier
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      John Waugh
      In the UK , the risk of total blackout or significant partial shutdown of the transmission network is increasing . The rise in renewables is making failure more probable .

      The Scottish Devolved Parliament was warned of all of this happening over 10 years ago but groups like Communities against Turbines and later Scotland Against Spin were totally ignored. All the politicians could see was the Community Funding which in essence reduced the money they had to provide through the local authoriities. As usual ignore the infrastructure and install windfarms. Now the UK mainly English bill payers are picking up the tab for all the constaraint payments.
      This thought process is exactlt the same with EVs. Watch this space another governmental disaster just waiting to happen. Politicians are adverse to talking to engineers.

  46. Iain Gill
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear John, the governement making noises it will continue down the silly IR35 road. It needs stopping immediately. I hope you rebel on this issue, its just crazy anti Conservative nonsense.

  47. glen cullen
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Don’t remember seeing the ‘citizens’ assembly’ in the manifesto nor the fact that tax payers are funding this none elected body

  48. Again more
    Posted January 25, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    My local council(Labour) is raising C-Tax by 3.9% and giving council tax cuts to some thousands who are not good payers historically and on Benefits ( state) I do not know if this is legal but I guess so. I don’t know what incentive this will give to get a higher paid job or a job.
    We have two tax systems, states within our state, and it is more than time to just have the national one which when tax applied can cause severe hair loss and loss of taste.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 26, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      And a large proportion of what you pay goes on their pet social projects, working groups, opinion formers, salaries and pension fund. Less will go on services as they cannot afford them.

      PS Whatever happened to the 2% cap ?

  49. Peter Martin
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    “The EU tells us they are going to stimulate faster growth in the Euro area through commitment to faster decarbonisation… ”

    Sounds good! But:

    According to my arithmetic €7.5 bn is just 0.04 % of the total GDP of the EU which is €17 trillion.

    And this is intended to produce just how much growth exactly? I’m sceptical of the idea of fiscal multipliers, but even if we’re ultra optimistic and assume a factor of 3 the end result is still neither here nor there. It’s just greenwash at its worst!

  50. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Was the EU’s Green energy policy drafted by Caroline Lucas by any chance?

    What is need urgently is a worldwide ban on burning raw coal. If this were to be fully implemented, something like 25% of gross CO2 emissions would be eliminated (that’s my back-of-the-envelope calculation from Wikepedia data; if anyone can do better, feel free). There needs to be an immediate ban on new coal fired power stations and a schedule drawn up for converting existing coal fired power stations to clean (decarbonised) coal or other power source. Countries still want cheap energy so it won’t be practical to ban gas fired power stations; they are not environmentally ideal but their CO2 emissions are about half of those for coal.

    To give this proposal teeth, we need a change to WTO rules allowing tariffs to be charged on goods exported from counties running a dirty economy – defined for the time being as burning raw coal unnecessarily.

  51. Will Judge
    Posted January 26, 2020 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Weird that this post is all about the EU when we are leaving it this week.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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