Banning diesel, petrol and hybrid cars

Norway wants to end diesel and petrol car sales by 2025. France intends to ban their sale from 2040. This week the UK announced a planned ban on their sale from 2035. Each country will be asked when they are going to ban these vehicles at COP26, the big international Green conference planned for the end of this year in Glasgow.

The thinking behind this is that if countries are serious about net zero carbon dioxide output by 2050, they need to phase out new vehicles, new heating systems and new machines that still produce CO2 soon. They need to do so well before the cut off date for ending their use . Many of these substantial investments or purchases last for many years. They are replaced with long gaps, particularly for domestic heating, so governments have to think ahead.

The issue of vehicles poses a range of problems for legislators as the government wishes to go this route. Will there be any exemptions for defined classic and vintage vehicles that people wish to keep as part of our heritage? When it comes to banning the use of these vehicles as opposed to just stopping the purchase of new ones, will there be any compensation to those who have old vehicles that still work and which they rely on? How will all these vehicles be scrapped to put them beyond use?

The aviation industry is suggesting that maybe it can meet targets if  it is allowed to burn plant based fuel or fuel from waste rather than aviation spirit from oil. If planes are allowed this, presumably surface transport could also use this method rather than having to go electric. Electric vehicles still have problems with torque for larger vehicles and heavier loads. Different fuels may not in themselves offer zero carbon dioxide, so aviation may need other policy supplements.

The government is probably concerned that last year,2019, only 1.6% of the cars registered in the UK were all electric despite a £3500 subsidy for each vehicle. Conventional diesel and petrol cars were over 90% of the market. The policy to move to banning these popular vehicles has already hit demand and factory output for them. This  new announcement is likely to put more people off buying new diesel and petrol vehicles and hybrids as well, but may not persuade them yet to buy a new electric. It may also deter manufacturers from developing the new hybrid models some are planning, if the opportunity to sell them is now only through a narrow window before banning in 2035.

Many potential buyers are awaiting lower prices, more subsidy, some reassurance about how electric cars will be taxed, better range, more charging points, faster charging and many other features. Some are also waiting to see if an alternative technology emerges to meet the CO2 requirement without relying on a battery.

Meanwhile governments are impatient to reduce or remove subsidies to electric cars. The UK subsidy is scheduled to be phased out in due course , whilst China withdrew subsidy at the end of last year. There is also the large looming issue of how will the tax gap be made up if there is wholesale conversion to electric, which will hit the big taxes raised on petrol and diesel.


  1. Ian Wilson
    February 5, 2020

    I truly despair at the zero carbon legislation. How many forests will be felled for biofuel production for aviation alone? How many more of our car factories will close because the capital investment in electric vehicles in the UK is not viable? How much has it already contributed to closing Honda Swindon and Ford Bridgend?

    How will the zero carbon electricity be generated when there is a winter anticyclone like the one two weeks ago with wind and solar producing just 3% of our electricity at times?

    All this is to meet a probably non-existent problem. If CO2 is such a menace why wasn’t there runaway warming when CO2 levels were 10 or 20 times as high, indeed there were ice ages.? There is actually evidence that as part of natural cycle climate may have started COOLING. It’s madness.

    1. Martin in Cardiff
      February 5, 2020

      I’m inclined to agree that the material problems likely to presented by climate change over the next few decades are not unmanageable, when seen in the context of the impact of natural events generally.

      The adjustments that humanity needs to make globally to arrest serious worsening need to be weighed very carefully, and the adverse social effects of these balanced against those that being targeted.

      I’m not convinced that the best balance has been found, nor one which suits the specifics of different countries.

    2. Stred
      February 5, 2020

      Believe it or not the Climate Change Committee is proposing BECCS or growing massive amounts of biofuel crops and generating electricity from this source and then capturing the CO2 and burying it under the North Sea in order to compensate for aircraft using kerosene. Strange but true.

      1. Stred
        February 5, 2020

        If the idea gets out that this deluded government with fools like Gove and Johnson in charge, is going to ban the USE of petrol and diesel cars and vans, then the vehicle industry will be wrecked. If they clearly rule this out then people living in flats and houses with street parking may still risk buying cars that can be used.

        1. graham1946
          February 5, 2020

          Another problem will be one of supply and demand of oil based fuel for the cars etc left. When I.C.E. vehicles are banned or become less and less used , what will happen to the fueling stations? – yes they will close, like we had in the past couple of decades when many independent garages went out of business due to unprofitability. When we can no longer buy fuel easily and locally, refiners will surely stop supplying the UK and concentrate on other parts of the world who do not share the global warming religion. We will be stuck with inefficient expensive transport. Once again, the government is prepared to shoot ourselves in the foot (or even the head) for virtue signalling, whilst the main part of the world, USA, Asia and Africa will sail serenely on laughing at our stupidity.

        2. Tad Davison
          February 5, 2020

          I run a very fuel efficient diesel car with a Euro 6 compliant engine. If the government insists on phasing out the internal combustion engine in favour of electric, then perhaps they might like to talk about power stations that burn imported wood chips in tens of thousands of tons per day. They might also like to mention the many active volcanoes that spew out around 3.5 million tons of CO2 each (but I imagine a good fire hose would soon sort them out).

          I watched an interesting documentary on YouTube a few weeks ago about the Maunder Minimum and how the sun’s activity affects the climate here on Earth. It stated that we have already entered a new low period, and were it not for the CO2 already in the atmosphere, temperatures might already be on a downward trajectory.

          The fact that alternative theories to mass climate hysteria can only be found in places other than our dear esteemed state public service broadcaster, tells us much about why the BBC needs to be made ‘subscription only’. It is lop-sided, and unbalanced journalism is something that we must not be forced to pay for, like it or not.

          All sides must be heard. If an argument holds no merit, it will quickly be exposed. I hold firm, that the science cannot be considered ‘settled’ until everyone has been given their chance to speak out. The climate debate is disproportionately weighted, and that is a bad thing.

          1. hefner
            February 5, 2020

            Tad, I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say. Looking at what happened during the Maunder Minimum, the present level of Sun activity without the CO2 in the atmosphere should give us cooler temperatures.
            Aren’t you just saying that the presence of CO2 is contributing to the higher temperatures we are enjoying?

          2. Tad Davison
            February 6, 2020

            Hefner, space precluded a more comprehensive explanation, but the documentary in question discussed all possibilities and probabilities, some theories juxtaposed to others. One did indeed say that the rise in temperature could even have protected us from the onset of a cooling of the climate. Yet another eminent climatologist said that temperature rise precedes a rise in CO2 and not the other way around. Thus the science is far from settled, yet you wouldn’t think so listening to some broadcasters.

      2. dixie
        February 5, 2020

        If you are going to capture the CO2 better to use it to create more fuel via CDU processes than bury it.

        1. hefner
          February 7, 2020

          What about putting more money into Na-CO2 battery system research (or newer ideas most of us on this blog do not have a clue about) in parallel to what has been done with Li-CO2 systems? There are a number of university-linked start-ups exploring new avenues along those lines and it is far from clear than VCT money would be enough for sustaining them here in the UK. Why is most of the development on those technologies being carried out in Chinese and US university-linked companies?

          It would be extremely sad to see ideas sometimes originating from British science postgrad students being developed outside the UK, as it has been so often the case in the past.

          Is that not a failure of successive UK governments? When will we get a Science Minister knowing a bit about his portfolio (no offense intended to Chris Skidmore, Sam Gyimah, Jo Johnson, …)? When will we get any science policy with objectives beyond the next General Election? (That behaviour and purely ‘economic thinking’ are likely to have been the reasons for giving up most of the UK nuclear energy research with possible practical implementation in terms of electricity production).

          And please LL do not come back with your dinosaurs who in their times as ministers were as bad sometimes even worse than the present crop.

          1. dixie
            February 7, 2020

            There is corporate and government money going in to battery research in the UK including Li Sulphur (avoiding Cobolt), Sodium Ion (avoiding Lithoum) and Solid state batteries together with developing recycling techniques. The Faraday Institution is a good point to start.
            However, how much is then used to support, instigtae and support UK industry is in the lap of the gods though government and the city have a poor track record on preserving our industrial and commercial interests.

    3. oldtimer
      February 5, 2020

      Agreed. This proposal is nuts. We need a new political party to oppose all these virtue signalling nonsenses which are being imposed upon us. It makes the cost of HS2 look like small change. If Nigel Farage is looking for a new cause to keep himself occupied then a party dedicated to opposition to such measures looks just the ticket. People will not take kindly to the reduction in their freedom to travel that this policy will bring.

    4. Peter Parsons
      February 5, 2020

      So when, exactly, were CO2 levels 20 times what they are now (which would be a concentration of over 8,000 ppm). In the 800,000 years prior to 1850, the highest level was 300ppm, less than 3/4 of the current levels, and the lowest was about 150ppm.

      1. Drew
        February 5, 2020

        Hello Peter,
        For CO2 levels at 20 times what they are now google “Phanerozioc CO2 levels”. You will see many images of fairly well accepted estimates of CO2 levels while life first evolved on earth. Google “The positive impact on CO2 emissions…” and you will find a June 2016 paper by Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace, which includes an estimate of 10,000ppm during the pre-cambrian.
        Moore also warns about the risk to plant life of CO2 approaching 150ppm. If the plants die… we all die.

        1. Peter Parsons
          February 6, 2020

          I have done as you suggested and was unable to find a single graph which showed CO2 levels at 8000ppm.

          I can find multiple graphs which show a peak of about 7000ppm just after the start of the pre-cambian explosion and which, it is concluded, led to global warming for 100 million years and unfavourable conditions resulting in mass extinctions for many species at that time.

          What’s also worth noting is that those level changes happened over much longer time periods, giving the planet time to adapt in a way that has not been the case in the last 150 years.

          1. NickC
            February 6, 2020

            Peter, Except we have about 410ppm of CO2, compared with the 7000ppm you cite. Quite a difference. You imply there has been an increase of c120ppm in 150 years. So it’ll take over 8000 years to reach the 7000ppm level, at current rates. Set that against the current political view that we’re doomed within 12 years (in 2009 Prince Charles said 8 years!), you can see how absurd the climate extinction groupies are.

          2. hefner
            February 7, 2020

            Well Peter, on one can find the paper by R.A. Berner & Z. Kothavala, 2001 ‘GeoCarb III’, which details the results of a mix of GCM simulations and palaeo-related indicators, taking into account what is thought to be the different distributions of land masses in the Palaeozoic era: going back in time, they derive 2000ppmv (parts per million volumic) in the Jurassic-Cretaceous (200 Myears back), 4000ppmv in the Ordovician-Silurian (400 Myears back), about 20 times current CO2 concentration (7000 to 8000ppmv) in early Palaeozoic (550 Myears back).

            So in that modelling, it takes roughly 200 Myears to drop by 50%. To be compared to a 40% rise in the recent 150 years. Are the processes at work in the different cases the same (independent of timescale consideration). A lot of clever people on this blog are convinced they are the same…

    5. glen cullen
      February 5, 2020

      And yet carbon brief and BEIS reported that UK C02 levels are down to 1858….so if that’s a reported government fact, what is the problem

      That’s right C02 in the UK is down to year 1858 level

      1. Peter Parsons
        February 5, 2020

        CO2 levels are not down to 1858 levels, per capita emissions are, which is not the same thing.

        Atmospheric CO2 was at 285ppm in 1858, it’s now at about 420ppm, an increase of close to 50% in that time.

      2. hefner
        February 5, 2020

        Do you mean UK CO2 emissions?

    6. Mitchel
      February 5, 2020

      Germany seems to be betting the farm on the auto industry and it’s conversion to electric vehicles.According to a EU Commission/TS Lombard report last November,Germany is committing 53% of it’s total R&D spend to the auto sector,compared with sub 10% in the USA and China and sub 30% in Japan and France.

    7. Ian
      February 5, 2020

      Our planet, has always been subjected to what happens to the Sun, and if there are a lot of Sunspots or not, more sun spots less heat, we are now entering such a spell is what I read in The Daily Express yesterday.
      So let’s keep the planet looked after, but why not use Hydrogen, we could still be taxed with our transport by how many miles we do, we have more than enough Tech to handle that.
      Hydrogen is the most prolific element , and the cleanest to burn.
      Einstein. Said it was the fuel of future ?

      1. hefner
        February 5, 2020

        And how do you get H2? By electrolysis of water? That requires electricity? By chemical reactions with methane (CH4)? Those will release both hydrogen and CO2?
        What is the cleverclogs of the DE proposing? I am curious.

    8. DavidJ
      February 6, 2020

      Indeed it is madness but the underlying reason is control by a self declared “elite”, who somehow thing that they will be exempted.

    9. NickC
      February 6, 2020

      Ian Wilson, Leave the arguments about CO2 to one side.

      Ask instead whether the 2035 deadline for 100% battery car sales is practical. UK road vehicles use (2014 data) around 453TWh of energy (almost all petrol and diesel). In comparison UK electrical energy production in 2018 was about 335TWh.

      Where is the government program to build 20 Hinckley Cs within the next 15 years to cope with the extra demand?

      Perhaps JR can ask this in Parliament?

  2. Lifelogic
    February 5, 2020

    Just cancel the cop26 alarmist love in for deluded, anti scientific religious dopes and the crony (and largely a fraud against the tax payers) renewables industry.

  3. Lifelogic
    February 5, 2020

    You say:- The government is probably concerned that last year,2019, only 1.6% of the cars registered in the UK were all electric despite a £3500 subsidy for each vehicle.

    Why should they be? The people are making sensible choices as the electric cars are too expensive, depreciate rapidly, are energy intensive to manufacture, take a long line to charge up, often are only four seats, cannot tow anything much …..usually they are worse than the old car you already have worth perhaps 1/30 of the new one. Plus they are not zero emission. as the electricity still has to be generated and well over 50% is lost at the power station and in transmission, voltage conversion and storage.

    The question is why are the idiots in government forcing tax payers to subsidising them at all? Usually subsidies to richer virtue signallers form poorer tax payers.

    1. Ian@Barkham
      February 5, 2020

      The new Conservative thinking , those that cant afford things are required to fund those that can.

      It is a pure Socialist method of being seen to be on message so people will love you.

    2. glen cullen
      February 5, 2020

      Peak sales of electric vehicles, are reported in USA, to have been reached and is now in decline

      Apparently the majority of sales went to celebrates and eco minded rich people who purchased them as a second car

      Let market forces dictate if the people want electric cars not via laws or subsidy

    3. Martin in Cardiff
      February 5, 2020

      Electricity is generated by burning biofuel at about 30% efficiency.

      If the biofuel – e.g. methane from fermenters or from gasified wood – were burnt directly in central heating boilers, just as it presently is, then the efficiency would be about 90%.

      People’s homes would not need internally rebuilding more to the point.

      Some people need to do some plain thinking.

      1. Ian Wragg
        February 5, 2020

        CCGT plants generate at around 60% efficiency.

        1. Lifelogic
          February 10, 2020

          Very new and efficient once can do – at best.

    4. dixie
      February 6, 2020

      But you don’t view new car buyers as sensible. They support the car industry directly buying a new car but you sneer at them for doing so (“they like to be seen in a shiny new car”) yet you are more than happy accepting their subsidy when you buy their car second hand after the initial depreciation.

      A waste of time asking you to cite references for the numbers you throw around, or even that they are a true comparison with costs and losses in the hydrocarbon fuel chain.

      PS the EV market is supply constrained so not a true reflection of the choices buyers want to make, In June 2019 FleetNews had polls showing 21% of company car drivers and 39% of retail responders wanting to switch to BEV

  4. Lifelogic
    February 5, 2020

    I see that Tesla sales screeched to a halt in the last nine months of 2017 in Hong Kong, dubbed a “beacon city” by founder Elon Musk, after the government slashed a tax waiver for electric vehicles.

    The green industries are crony and largely driven by what is essentially a fraud against tax payers.

    1. Ian@Barkham
      February 5, 2020

      The taxpayers wallet is bottomless pit – it is called look at me, you know you love me and your government is wonderful

    2. hefner
      February 5, 2020

      LL, what an incredible comment to make the day after it was reported Tesla is now the second carmarker in value behind Toyota.

      1. graham1946
        February 5, 2020

        Doesn’t mean they are profitable – I don’t know or care if they are, but look what happened during the internet boom – company values sky rocketing though never a cent was made and many went pop. Look at a certain internet film company billions in debt.

    3. Mitchel
      February 5, 2020

      It’s interesting that large,long term investments are being made in materials that should be made redundant (at least in the auto industry)by the full changeover to electric cars.For instance,Norilsk Nickel,the world’s largest producer of palladium,announced a multi billion programme in the Russian Arctic last year.

      I’m sure there is a big geopolitical calculation going on in the attempt by the west to move away from materials and fuels they have little control over-and possibly to do down those that do control them in the process!

      1. Mitchel
        February 5, 2020

        And there is more!Barents Observer,4/2/20:”Moscow outlines 210 euro billions plan for Arctic.” – Three new oil fields(143 euros billion),three new offshore oil & gas projects(25 euros billion),three new petrochemical plants(42 euros billion)-one of which will be able to produce 3m tons of polyethylene and polyproylene-all signed off today by Mr Putin.

        I read earlier this week that the US is putting up new petrochem plants too-using feedstock from fracking operations where the gas may now be uneconomic to export due to the price crash resulting from oversupply as a consequence of China’s resistance to buying US LNG.

        Greta,time to get that carbon neutral yacht out for a new adventure in the Arctic!

        Someone is going to be very right and someone very wrong.But who?!

        1. Mitchel
          February 6, 2020

          India has just announced it has agreed to join the largest of these new oil projects;Japan,having,signed up for two other Russian energy projects recently,is also mulling over participation.

    4. John Probert
      February 5, 2020

      Tesla share price has just come off an all time high

      Do you not like clean air ?

  5. Mick
    February 5, 2020

    Enough of this climate change rubbish, the planet is in its natural time of change all this bull about the end of the world if nothing is done especially listening to brain washed school kids, why isn’t the media giving the other side of the story against the end of the world brigade, as for no more petrol or diesel vehicles that’s going to be a lot of tax revenue gone out of the window unless someone comes up with the brain storm to tax on the power of the electric motors, then there’s the commercial motor side of it and let me tell you that after nearly 50 years of being in transport industry that it’s going to have to be a bloody big electric motor to replace the monsters I use to work on

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      February 5, 2020

      Yes, where is our People’s Vote on whether or not we want our government to pursue this agenda and continue to disadvantage our businesses and industry?

      1. steve
        February 5, 2020

        Narrow Shoulders

        To be fair, NS, some business is actually behind the scam.

        I was brought up to question not so much ‘what’ others do, but ‘why’ they do it. So, follow the money. We’re being had over.

        But there will be no people’s vote, of that you can be sure. Reason being that a vote would overwhelmingly reject the agenda.

    2. Jon Davies
      February 5, 2020

      I think you will find that heavy duty trucks with fuel cell and/or battery will be available from around 2022 onwards. There are demonstrators operating on the roads today (sadly in the US rather than in the UK). I would expect them to be competitive with diesel HGVs by 2025. We are talking 500-1000 HP here.

      1. steve
        February 5, 2020


        !000 HP would be about 746kW.

        I don’t see fuel technology being viable. More likely they’ll just exempt HGV’s and military vehicles from this scam, then interpret the figures to claim we are carbon zero.

        That said, we might have fuel cell technology forced upon us just because a certain company happens to have the monopoly on platinum, as was the case with cats.

        1. Jon Davies
          February 6, 2020

          Will be fascinating to watch the next couple of years. I don’t agree that the technology is not viable. By 2025 or 2030 latest they could well be highly competitive with diesel.

          The Nikola fuel cell truck in the US already has orders for 800 vehicles from Anheuser-Busch and some of these will be on the road in 2022. Toyota have had fuel cell units working at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for some years now with 40 tonne trucks. The 2020 Olympics will be used to showcase the modular approach of Toyota for their fuel cell. This is used in the Toyota Mirai but by using multiple units will be used for buses. There are trains using fuel cell technology in Germany (500kW power output) and the technology is easily scaleable.

          The biggest challenge will be hydrogen fuel cost and there is little doubt that fuel duty at the level of diesel will hold these technologies back.

          There are actually big benefits for military vehicles too. Trying to hide the infra red heat signature of a diesel engine in a tank is hard when they are stationary and camouflaged. A battery/fuel cell combination means instant start up with no hot exhaust for missiles to target.

          Not saying it is the only solution for HGVs and heavy duty but it is certainly credible. I have researched this quite extensively and you can see my analysis of fuel cell technology and costs

    February 5, 2020

    Free speech banned. Cars banned. Propaganda immersion. A child used by governments to promote climate change fear and massage public opinion. BBC and CH4 propaganda on this issue. And now Johnson skipping around with the Darwin wannabe Attenborough.

    The state of government intervention is accelerating not slowing. This has happened under a Tory government. Yes, a Tory government.

    The three main party are still on the same page, promoting the same type of status quo politics

    It is my firm belief that this nation’s people will be exposed to ever increasing levels of intervention across all areas of life. The conclusion to all this is terrifying

    I can now see why your party’s embraced progressive and identity politics and made it your own. Social control is now paramount. We must be made to feel powerless.

    1. agricola
      February 5, 2020

      You have a very valid point, drawing attention to the antithesis of what I have written today.

      1. DOMINIC
        February 5, 2020

        Social control theory does provide the bedrock for much of the State’s activity we see today. We can now see why Thatcher’s attack on the very idea of society (for society is an idea not a reality) was viewed with alarm by those (party politicians, academia, civil servants and activists of all kinds) who embrace the strategies that do allow for the politicisation of human behaviour and weaponisation of human identity to create a political dynamic that allows for control

        Of course, this type of human identity politics isn’t new etc ed

    2. Ian@Barkham
      February 5, 2020

      Agreed , pure left wing mantra of love me I am your leader.

      No freedom to excell, better yourself and improve society. Just to the line 1984 is the guide book

    3. glen cullen
      February 5, 2020

      The path the government has taken is a slippery road in freedom

  7. Lifelogic
    February 5, 2020

    It is reported that Cameron has asked David Cameron and William Haigh to replace Perry two scientifically illiterate PPE graduates to replace a deluded geography one.

    Let’s reach across the political divide have a sensible physicist (1st at Imperial) like Piers Corbyn (Jeremy’s brighter brother) who is very sound on this issue. Boris used to be sound on the climate/energy issue but seems to have now been infected by this daft religion. Or perhaps Boris is just pretending to believe now for political reasons. I am not sure which is worse – deluded or dishonest?

    1. Lifelogic
      February 5, 2020

      Better still just cancel COP26 and get real.

      1. glen cullen
        February 5, 2020

        What cancel COP26…..and replace the policy with what, oh yes…full support of our manufacturing industries, less tax on fuel & energy, building a country that can compete around the world and…and reduce the influence of the green lobby

    2. agricola
      February 5, 2020

      Is the first Cameron really Boris. I get the point of your comment.

    3. DOMINIC
      February 5, 2020

      He’s secured a full term with a working majority. Only mass backbench opposition to his sniveling pandering to the woke cult will bring him to his senses

      What is odd is that this type of politics isn’t embraced by the majority which may explain why it’s so appealing to the London based political class who in truth despise the people of this nation and genuinely believe they must be controlled

    4. Wil Pretty
      February 5, 2020

      Announcing the intention to cease selling oil using cars in the future is an easy PR win.
      Doing anything now would risk rousing the population.

    5. Caterpillar
      February 5, 2020


      Some geographers are OK. For example the environmental group at University of Auckland studying the size of Pacific islands published another paper last year confirming 75% are increasing in area whilst 25% are decreasing. This is against a backdrop of sea levels rising mm per year for the past several hundred years. Non-geographers tend to ignore that low lying islands are typically dynamic systems with continuous deposition.

      The shrinking islands seem to get the headlines without explanation of the dynamics, the growing ones don’t get much coverage.

      1. Man of Kent
        February 5, 2020

        Absolutely .
        I served on Christmas Island throughout 1959.
        Since then sea level has risen by 50 mm say 2 ins while the land area of Kiribati has increased by 10% some 50 years later.

        The key to this is the parrot fish which graze on reef corals and the amoeba growing there on. Most small parrot fish excrete around 16kg of pure white sand per year while big ones exceed 40 kg.

        As sea levels rise so does the beach .
        Rainwater is pushed into a lens shape by higher density sea water and so rises as the atoll grows.

        If this did not happen there would be no atolls !
        Lesson over !

  8. agricola
    February 5, 2020

    To date the arguement has been led by a pubescent girl and knee jerk reaction by politicians unqualified to understand the technology. It is long overdue that we created an advisory body from the motor industry and it’s technology base such as Ricardo, Cosworth etc. To inform as to exactly where we are. I would also want to know whether hydrogen could be produced in commercial volume and at a price that was acceptable. This is because the end result of burning hydrogen is water and the internal combustion engine can be adapted to use it. The question for the advisory body would be, exactly where are we with lean burn engines and the negation and capture of the negative aspects of the fuels we currently burn. Incidentally can the same negation and capture be applied to new designs of domestic heating boilers. Be totally aware of self interest in the advice given.

    To run a one fuel electrical economy is strategically highly dangerous in terms of vulnerability. What can be done to negate emmissions from fuel burnt to produce electricity. Has the question of what to do with atomic waste been solved. If so called biofuel is in reality wood pellets from Canada, are they not negated by the process of destroying trees and then shipping them thosands of miles.

    I am all for creating a clean and recycling regime to make the World a healthier place to live in. There is much more we could do. Population control for one. However we seem to have created a new religion with electricity as God and CO2 as the devil with little serious science being applied. We could end up being very disappointed at the end result

    1. Iain Gill
      February 5, 2020

      It’s high time politicians read the analysis by national grid which points out the massive change in transmission capacity needed to support a country with significant numbers of electric cars.

    2. steve
      February 5, 2020


      “If so called biofuel is in reality wood pellets from Canada”

      It’s cat litter, basically. Oh and FYI – it’s next to useless as a fuel.

      “I am all for creating a clean and recycling regime to make the World a healthier place to live in”

      ….So am I, but Boris and his grey haired old twit expert should take their argument to China and India.

      We’re being had over mate.

    3. margaret howard
      February 5, 2020


      “To date the arguement has been led by a pubescent girl”

      Joan of Arc was 19 when she was burned at the stake. Yet 600 years later she is still credited with changing the course of French and even European history.

      Who today remembers her (adult) detractors?

      I am hopeful that here it will be our young people who had no vote in the Brexit debacle who will follow where she led the way and challenge the establishment.

      1. agricola
        February 5, 2020

        If she really is credited for the last six hundred years of European history she has a lot to answer for.

      2. Edward2
        February 5, 2020

        Let’s hope they do some scientific study and research first.

      3. Andy
        February 5, 2020

        They will Margaret. I think under 30s – with a little help from some of us a bit older than that – will overthrow this government. Their votes are ignored so it is time to bring the government down by other means.

        1. NickC
          February 6, 2020

          Andy, 52% Leave but only 48% Remain. You lost. Get over it.

      4. steve
        February 5, 2020


        “I am hopeful that here it will be our young people”

        With some exceptions, most of whom do not know what hardship is, have never had to graft for a living, yet think they’re entitled.

        Many can’t even speak properly, for example I’ve lost count of the number of times some young person on the customer’s side of a shop counter says; “can I get – one of those” etc.

        I know if I were serving my reply would be; “yes Sir / Madam, it is possible you could get one, next customer please”.

        The standard of spoken English and written word is very low these days compared to what it was during my younger years.

        I don’t think they should attempt to challenge anyone, let alone the establishment.

        In my opinion most of them should be put through national service.

    4. glen cullen
      February 5, 2020

      Fully agree with every word you said

    5. Tim the Coder
      February 5, 2020

      I would also want to know whether hydrogen could be produced in commercial volume and at a price that was acceptable.
      No, it cannot.
      You make hydrogen gas by burning natural gas to heat water to steam.
      You then mix the very hot steam with more natural gas to generate the hydrogen.
      Both stages produce lots of CO2 which you vent to the atmosphere (or sell to the nearby vegetable growers for their greenhouses).
      Finally, you burn even more natural gas to drive the compressors to force the hydrogen into very strong metal tanks (normally called ‘bombs’) or you use the natural gas in a generator to drive a refrigerant cycle to liquify the hydrogen for a few hours, before it all boils off.
      And all the leaking hydrogen is explosive in just about any air/hyrdogen ratio.
      Madness, comes of having PPE idiots running things, as instructed by teenage school dropouts.
      Time for a grown up or two.

      1. agricola
        February 5, 2020

        I always thought that Hydrogen was aproduct of electrolysis ie. Using electricity to split water into Oxygen and Hydrogen. All done in a unit called an Electrolyzer. The electricity can derive from atomic or windmill sources. No satanic CO2 created.
        I’m sure the process has progressed since I left school, but it was nothing like the armagedon you so colourfully describe even then. Methinks you troll too widely.

        1. Ian Wragg
          February 5, 2020

          They’ve been using electrolysers in nuclear subs since the 50s.

        2. Stred
          February 5, 2020

          He’s right. It is proposed by the CCC and accepted by the government. Its going to be very expensive and power hgvs, ships, industry in clusters and some generation according to the technical report. Costing is guesswork and hopelessly optimistic.

        3. Old chemist
          February 5, 2020

          Sorry Tim the coder is correct. Currently the majority of commercial hydrogen is made by steam reforming. There are small outfits developing electrolysis but it is very small scale. Also don’t forget electrolysis requires clean pure water usually produced by reverse osmosis which requires about twice the volume e of water to be processed and the reject water containing all the salts needs to be discharged. In its self this requires significant energy. Oxygen is also a bi product. All these issues can be dealt with. The model being suggested was to have small units In filling stations to negate the need to transport hydrogen. The reality is that hydrogen is an energy transport medium so adding an extra step. Also to gain the full benefit then fuel cells need to be installed. So a completely different and complex power train.
          The hazards of using hydrogen are well understood but the electrically systems would be very high spec and expensive. I have used hydrogen industrially the process was catalytic reduction on a batch scale but the engineering and precautions were extensive and trained staff were used to deliver. The general public driving vehicles using hydrogen power is not an idea that appeals as maintenance routines need to be followed. Lots to think about

    6. Lifelogic
      February 5, 2020

      A pubescent girl who has no understanding of science and suggest no real solutions at all – just mutters about “the world is on fire” and “we will never forgive you”! Then she has photo ops with £1million + PA personal travel bill Prince (where is my helicopter) Charles!

      She even seems to think sailing on million pound racing yachts with crews flown about for her amusement is just dandy!

  9. Ian Wragg
    February 5, 2020

    Meanwhile Ger, Japan, China and India continue to build coal fired power plants with a 60 year life.
    Electric cars lose 25percent of range in winter. Utter madness.

    1. Martin in Cardiff
      February 5, 2020

      I suspect that inflammatory announcements are being made about seemingly draconian proposals mainly to stir up public emotion and a backlash, so that in turn these psychological phenomena can be exploited for political ends.

      And also to set a trap for the Left and Greens in that they may well be tempted to endorse them uncritically.

      John’s headline is typical.

      1. Edward2
        February 5, 2020

        The headline is correct.
        The Government has announced it is banning hybrid petrol and diesel vehicles.

    2. Ian@Barkham
      February 5, 2020

      Ah but, the UK’S as 3% of the worlds CO2 output needs to rebalance and replace any of is reductions in CO2 bt sucking product from the Worlds worst producers of CO2.

      It is called joined up thinking.

    3. Ian Wragg
      February 5, 2020

      I suppose St Greta of Thunberg will be travelling to Glasgow by kayak supported by 20 staff and a private jet.
      Boris has resumed his clown routine so early in this Parliament.
      It doesn’t bode well for EU negotiations.

      1. Ian Wragg
        February 5, 2020

        Boris has just effectively shut down Toyota at Burnaston as they mainly produce hybrid cars.
        Well played

        1. formula57
          February 5, 2020

          Let us not overlook that hybrid vehicles exist only mainly as an effort by motor manufacturers to reduce onerous Evil Empire-imposed fines for making products that pollute. They also overcome range issues with pure electric vehicles.

          There is not much to recommend doubling-up on a power source, to then have a more complex machine with higher maintenance bills etc.. Note also the phenomenon of many hybrid vehicle drivers rarely using electric power – hence Volvo’s current marketing effort that offers to reimburse electricity charging costs.

    4. Bob
      February 5, 2020

      “Meanwhile Ger, Japan, China and India continue to build coal fired power plants with a 60 year life.”

      Britain will need lots of them in order to charge the batteries of the electric vehicles.

      1. Fred H
        February 5, 2020

        Bob – – Seeking electricity for the cars we’ll lay a fat cable to Germany, who will have another fat cable to Putin, who will dig up oil and gas reserves to ensure we are under his control.

    5. glen cullen
      February 5, 2020

      Madness to the average person but only a PR decision to a politician

    6. Lifelogic
      February 5, 2020

      Indeed and 50% of the energy at the power station and more in transmission, charging and discharging the battery. Plus much energy using in mining the materials and making the batteries.

      To extend the bank to hybrids is even dafter. In many ways plug in hybrids are a good compromise. Electric for up to perhaps 30 miles (so clean in the cities) but without the range limitations and long charge times needed by pure electric cars. Plus the combination of electric and petrol can be designed to get high MPG by running the petrol engine at maximum efficiency. Also no need for a very large, heavy, environmentally damaging, expensive and rapidly depreciating battery.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 5, 2020

        To extend the ban (I meant)

    7. bigneil(newercomp)
      February 5, 2020

      One advert brags of their vehicle having a 209 mile range. Would like to know the conditions that was under. Night? Cold? Rainy? needing lights, heater and wipers. Don’t see many manufacturers giving their vehicle to Top Gear for an actual road test.

      From up here Ian we wouldn’t be able to get to Heathrow and back without a lengthy charge time somewhere – and probably have to queue at the services for a charger point to become available.

    8. Mitchel
      February 5, 2020

      Russia is starting development of vast new coalfields in the Arctic,particularly the Taymyr peninsular,specifically(although probably not exclusively)for India.

      Barents Observer,1/11/19:

      “India,the world’s second largest coal importer,needs 70m tons of high quality coal for it’s aluminium and steel industries….Taymyr peninsular may contain 225 billion tons….First Deputy Minister for Development of the Far East,Sergey Tyrtsev:”I believe we will be able to boost the volumes of our deliveries to India sixfold to 28m tons by 2025.”

      There is also a row brewing between Norway and Russia over the Svalbard archipelago-formerly Spitsbergen,this was the Arctic territory of the Kaiser’s German empire whose sovereignty was nominally transferred to Norway in 1920 but the enacting Treaty of Paris provided for signatories to have economic (but not military) exploitation rights and visa free access.Of these Bolshevik Russia was the only one to have taken significant advantage-there are c450 “Russian speakers” there today,coal mining is the principal activity.Norway has clearly been trying to gain greater control by expanding “nature and fish protection zones”and there is uncertainty over whether territorial waters or EEZ(which did not exist in 1920) rules should apply.

      Norway has received an imperious diplomatic note from Russia this week :”…..we do not intend to curtail our presence there.On the contrary,we have long term plans for strengthening,diversifying and modernizing it.The Russian Federation is interested in developing lasting and constructive co-operation with Norway on Svalbard and in promoting a dialogue on practical matters.Our Norwegian partners are invited to conduct bilateral consultations to lift the restrictions from the operations of Russian organizations on the Archipelago.We expect a positive reply from the Norwegian side.”

      There’s also an interesting article on the Business New Europe news site this week about the Polish coal industry which,with it’s centrality to the Polish economy and national self-image,seems to be presenting problems akin to our own NCB in the 1970s.

    9. dixie
      February 5, 2020

      Diesel and petrol cars lose range in Winter as well.

  10. Bernard from Bucks
    February 5, 2020

    A street of 7kW home chargers will put considerable strain on forty-year-old supply cables under the pavements.

    1. Fred H
      February 5, 2020

      nice warm pavements when we have no gas for central heating.

  11. Shirley
    February 5, 2020

    This is just a theory, but I suspect ‘Climate Change’ is simply a ruse to impose a one world government on the people of this planet. Climate is the one thing that affects everyone on the planet, wherever they may live, so what better excuse?

    If past predictions had been true, the human race would already be extinct, so why should we believe current predictions when there is no irrefutable evidence that CO2 is causing climate change? We can all see the manipulation of ‘evidence’.

    I am glad I am old and won’t have to live through the future madness being imposed upon us, but I worry for the younger generations. If they succeed in reducing CO2 significantly, then that will truly make our planet uninhabitable, for both plant and animal life.

  12. APL
    February 5, 2020

    “The government is probably concerned that last year,2019, only 1.6% of the cars registered in the UK were all electric despite a £3500 subsidy for each vehicle.”

    Concern troll alert!

    And we thought Boris would be different.

    But that statistic tells you the whole story. No one wants your stupid electric cars, even if you pay us for them.

    Now, go away, and start governing properly.

  13. Dave Andrews
    February 5, 2020

    Fear not. When the electricity fails to power the electric car fleet and people shiver in the homes in winter for lack of power, the party that promises dropping the diesel and electric cut-off date and opening up coal mines will be the one that’s voted into government.

  14. Iain Gill
    February 5, 2020

    Pushing up costs here will just result in more business moving to India and China, pushing up net world pollution. To say nothing of the massive increase in electrical generation and transmission capacity we will need.

    It is virtue signalling badly thought through nonsense.

  15. ian terry
    February 5, 2020

    Sir John

    Still the ministers involved in “driving” this conversion to electric vehicles in their lemming like charge within concept of the real cost, have for one minute evenmentionedhydrogen which ticks all the green boxes and can be used in slightly modified existing power plant. Ifcosidered it would keep the car industry working with nearly all their existing plant.
    My perception is that politicians the world over are not fully thinking the options through and are backing the wrong fuel. This country let alone the planet cannot afford a 100% transport infrastructure and system.

    1. ian terry
      February 5, 2020

      Should read with no concept

  16. Sharon Jagger
    February 5, 2020

    With regards to this CO2, global warming agenda- I believe it to be a scam.

    When experts in their field are sacked or are refused to speak because their views oppose the popular views – this sounds alarm bells.

    Patrick Moore , the founder of green peace agrees with much of piers Corbyn’ findings. We have entered a period of global cooling which is masked by high carbon levels.

    So hardly think we’ve reached a state of emergency!

    1. glen cullen
      February 5, 2020

      Piers Corbyn website weatheraction is very informative, I wonder how many MPs have looked at it

  17. JimW
    February 5, 2020

    Why should a supposedly ‘free marketeer’ write an article that doesn’t criticise increased central planning and control? The reason is very simple. The financial elite encourage the ‘green blob’ and its supporters of a certain political persuasion because they see a risk free way of a massive transfer of wealth upwards from the ordinary tax payer.
    This has nothing to do with ‘science’, because there is no real science that supports AGW/CC, just ever more ludicrous projections from manipulated computer models.
    Its about societal change and regressive taxation.
    Shame on you.

    1. Wes
      February 5, 2020

      Ah computer modelling. Rubbish:rubbish out

  18. steve
    February 5, 2020

    Good morning JR

    Firstly I think our community here should acknowledge your courage in publicly facing up to this potentially white hot topic. I don’t know of any other politician who would look us in the eye on this one.

    Unfortunately I am sad to say Boris has lost my future vote because of his environmental and anti – motorist policies.

    You mention owners of fine marque vehicles, actually that would include myself (Jaguar) .

    What I can convey is sentiment that what Boris is doing is seen as war mongering towards engineering / industrial classes / Petrol – Heads as we’re sometimes known.

    Never touch a man’s wheels, Boris.

  19. BeebTax
    February 5, 2020

    I drive a 20 year old car. It’s less polluting than most more modern vehicles – and possibly less polluting than many electric vehicles (if charged with non-renewable generated electricity). It’s less polluting because I only drive it about 5 miles per week. Despite this, I get clobbered by a punitive road tax.

    Apart from the issue of how much CO2 does the actual use of a vehicle generate, nobody seems to consider the balance between extending the use of an existing vehicle, thereby avoiding the requirement to build a replacement one (with all the CO2 used in the manufacturing process which that would entail). There is such a lot of superficial nonsense spouted in so much of the climate change debate.

    1. Edward2
      February 5, 2020

      Great comment.
      The best vehicle from a environmental perspective is one which is decades old.
      And it depends on the annual mileage you do.

  20. Mark B
    February 5, 2020

    Good morning

    Sorry off-topic.

    I would like to bring people’s attention to a small matter that, I believe, happened in the HoC yesterday.

    A vote was held and the result was announced. A member of the SNP raised a point of order with the Deputy Speaker that, whilst they voted on said Bill, It seems that their votes were not counted. The Deputy Speaker stated that under Standing Order W, or something, votes cast by non-English MP’s on English only matters were indeed no longer counted. 🙂

    Whilst this development is very much welcomed it is still short of what I and others here truly wish. But as they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

    Many thanks to our kind host who, I am sure, must have had a hand in this.

    1. The Prangwizard
      February 5, 2020

      Why are the allowed to vote? Why are they not prevented from voting if they clearly intend defiance? Why are the not penalised if they have broken a rule or convention.

      These are questions which need to be answered if there is a problem here. Seems to me there is. Is it weakness of those who claim to speak for England and appeasement of the Scots as usual.

    2. Fred H
      February 5, 2020

      wonderful news – I doubted it ever happens.

  21. Edward2
    February 5, 2020

    I remember going to Cuba some years ago and seeing 1940s and 1950s American old cars being the majority of cars on the road.
    Lovingly cared for and kept on the road by clever owners repairs and maintenance.
    The same thing will happen in the future in the UK when petrol diesel and hybrid car sales are banned.

    I also predict hundreds of thousands of extra unemployment as car sales fall dramatically.

    1. hefner
      February 7, 2020

      Hahaha, have you ever compared an engine of the 50s with a present one?
      I was used to do a lot on my ‘68 Citroen 2CV then ‘78 Renault 4L cars with the help of some French ´Manuel de Reparations Mécaniques’. After changing my car in the 90s, it became much more difficult as there started to be too many bells and whistles encumbering the engine below the hood and making the access to essential bits almost impossible outside a professional garage setting. I now have had a 2002 Zafira in a reasonable condition for years and have had a nice friendly independent garage who in the ‘00s let me look at things when the boss was repairing. So I learned a few tricks from him.

      The present new cars, as much else, are now made in such ways as to prevent the owner from doing much on them.
      So good luck to the present owners of today’s cars if they want in some years time to go on lovingly caring for their beasts.

  22. Martyn G
    February 5, 2020

    The NATO single-fuel policy is diesel. Hmmm, wonder what they are going to do?

    1. steve
      February 5, 2020

      Martyn G

      Oh no, they’re exempt. It’s only us mugs being forced to put up with green crap.

      There is only one way to stop this, which is to make clear to all in Westminster that any politician who messes with us on these issues will be out of office, no ifs no buts, out, and out for good.

      It’s got to be piston engines or gas turbine-electric running on hydrogen or petrol. Otherwise its no use to me.

    2. Dennis
      February 5, 2020

      Apparently the biggest single polluter (of all types?) in the world is the US military – and are they the biggest user of resources I wonder – wouldn’t surprise me.

  23. Caterpillar
    February 5, 2020

    In continuing to pursue this route I would like the Govt to issue some clarifications:-

    1) What will be the global effect on land use of using biofuels, and what is the cost-benefit analysis of this compared with continuing with fossil for aviation, shipping etc?
    2) Given the continued growth of emissions in other parts of the world will UK introduce carbon tax with dividends and border adjustment. Border adjustment is key but I suspect difficult whilst negotiating trade agreements – it needs to be up there for discussion.
    3) How far is direct from air carbon capture and sequestration from realisation? (And will UK maintain flexibility to respond to this).
    4) Is the govt going to insist on batteries designed for recycling with UK based reverse logistics to do this?
    5) Will the Govt back steam reformed methane for hydrogen? (How / why not?)
    6) What will be the demand management system for electricity if/when rapid battery charge becomes available? The grid may not be far away in energy terms but it will always remain far away in power terms if everyone plugs in for a fast charge in a short time window?
    7) What is the intended market structure for providing charging?
    8) Can public transport projects be brought forward and capacity lead not lag? Are public transport and streets going to be made clean and safe – and pleasant? Has the Govt assessed Luxembourg’s free (2nd class – maintain social divisions) public transport model?

    Obviously the list can go on. Given that the UK cannot even deliver train lines, it would be nice to see a clear exec summary strategy with links to actual implementing detail.

  24. Bryan Harris
    February 5, 2020

    On reading this about the irrational approach to a myth, one word comes to mind: LEMMINGS
    How on Earth can so many allegedly intelligent people in government be taken in by this scam?
    Common agreement in seeking resolutions is a great thing, but not when the problem is an artificial one, designed to rob us of our money, but worse, our mobility. There are major concerns that the technology will be a downgrade as regards travel opportunities, and the enormous leap in the supply of electricity is an impossibility given that now we can only just generate enough currently to keep the lights on…!
    Oh for some rational government thinking that doesn’t simply follow the establishment line.

  25. Kevin
    February 5, 2020

    A couple of points in your recent policy-related posts stand out in my mind:
    1) today, you write that “last year,…only 1.6% of the cars registered in the UK were all electric despite a £3500 subsidy…. Conventional diesel and petrol cars were over 90% of the market”;
    2) a month ago, you observed, “Out of 5.9 million businesses, 4.5 million have no employees”.

    These statistics suggest to me that, in these two areas, government regulations (either current or pending) are probably unpopular. Once again, we appear to have a democratic deficit.

  26. Narrow Shoulders
    February 5, 2020

    Many potential buyers are awaiting lower prices, more subsidy, some reassurance about how electric cars will be taxed, better range, more charging points, faster charging and many other features.

    Quite. Let the market decide when the time is right. There have been a slew of shops and other service providers claiming to being commuted to “net zero” by 20… They evidently believe that there is demand for this and are prepared to differentiate themselves along these lines to gain competitive advantage.

    When the electric car offer is better than the alternative sales of the alternative will fall. That only Tesla has really put its head above the electric car parapet suggests the product is not up to scratch.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      February 5, 2020

      Committed to net zero.

    2. hefner
      February 5, 2020

      Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai e-Niro, Hyundai e-Kora, Hyundai e-Ioniq, Kia Soul EV, BMW i3, MG ZS-EV, VW ID3, VW e-Up …10 ‘smallish’ cars and not even a Tesla …
      NS, what were you saying? You basically do not have a clue but that has never preventing anyone from commenting on this blog.

      1. Edward2
        February 5, 2020

        All together they have less than 2% of the market.

        This us despite generous subsidies, clean air zones with daily charges in London (and being proposed elsewhere), beneficial parking rates in many cities and lower tax rates for company car owners.

      2. Narrow Shoulders
        February 5, 2020

        Thanks Hef your scorn is, as ever, a badge of honour.

        None of those manufacturers have said that electric is what they do though have they? Ie not put their heads above the parapet. Take it or leave it seems to be the approach.

        1. dixie
          February 6, 2020

          Not sure by what you mean by “head above the parapet”. If it means EV-only products then there are a number of bike and vehicle manufacturers in China and India.

          In Europe, VW has switched direction big time to EV, perhaps influenced by it’s need to develop growth in China.

          Nissan has been producing the Leaf for years with recent release of new BEV designs along as have most manufacturers, though excluding Ford.

          I believe Deloitte’s have projected BEV-ICE capital cost equivalence in 2022.

          1. Narrow Shoulders
            February 7, 2020

            But none of those manufacturers are saying that this is their main business or that this will be their aim.

          2. dixie
            February 7, 2020

            @NS – but the Chinese and Indian manufacturers are saying exactly that and VW is betting their farm on BEV.

  27. Ian@Barkham
    February 5, 2020

    Zero carbon, by first raising CO2 with production from shabby manufacturing processes. Then with raising CO2 with poor delivery to market structures. Look at me politics of the worst type

    To cap it all we have Conservatives suggesting that those that can afford new cars should be subsidised by those that can’t- very left wing Socialist thinking

  28. Ian@Barkham
    February 5, 2020

    The main reasoning behind the slow take up of battery powered cars is that any one with half a brain knows their purchase is on par with shoveling money down the drain. You only buy them if you can afford to loose what amounts to 50% of the UK average income each year and want to make a statement.

  29. Bob Latham
    February 5, 2020

    I cannot believe the stupidity of this climate nonsense. Apart from the fact that nothing is happening that the planet hasn’t done before and that there is NO proof CO2 is doing anything to the climate has anyone looked at the electric power demand? I have a very modest house that has a 24KW boiler for heating. Drawing 24KW from 230v mains gives 104 amps. Our whole house fuse is 100amps. No way could the grid generate or distribute that much energy. Adding car charging, maybe 3 cars, forget it, it cannot be done. Never mind build some more bird choppers.

  30. Martyn G
    February 5, 2020

    Researchers from Edinburgh and Oxford universities and Met Office staff analyses UK climate projections and have suggested there is a substantial increase in the likelihood of temperatures reaching 2018’s levels between now and 2050. “They suggest there is a substantial increase in the likelihood of temperatures reaching 2018’s levels between now and 2050.”
    Factually, the summer of 2018 was only the 7th hottest since 1885 and not even as hot as in 1933 and 1955. Temperatures above 32C have been recorded in every month between June and September, in 1893, 1908, 1901, 1906 and 2003. Note the use of the words ‘suggest’ ‘substantial’, ‘likelihood’ – these typical weasel words used by alarmists without factual foundation, but scaremongering rules, OK?

    1. Fred H
      February 5, 2020

      another way of saying ‘after all these expensive researchers, we don’t really know’.

  31. They Work for Us?
    February 5, 2020

    Please remember no one has voted for all of this. If anything requires a referendum decarbonisation is it. This is a decision too important to be left to government and its consequences to our lives in inconvenience and cost are immense. Scientific common sense based on fact not assertions and belief are needed. There are no votes for the conservatives in this only loss of face and mounting opposition. It is a good example of the liberal elite “we know best ism”.

  32. Christine
    February 5, 2020

    How disappointing that the PM has bought into the pseudo climate change religion. As an alumnus of Eton College and Oxford I really thought he was more intelligent than that.
    How a country can beggar itself on the altar of this nonsense defeats me. It”s probably no longer possible to turn this around but could we at least try to debate this issue properly? The rantings of a 17 year uneducated Swedish teenager seem to impress people (Nobel Prize are you kidding?) but carry no weight whatsoever with me.
    I would like to see scientists who are not in hock to vested interests talking about the Milankovitch cycles and other factors that are immutable and which affect the climate here on planet Earth. Let’s educate ourselves before travelling down roads to nowhere.
    Basing fundamental economic policies on arguments around CO2 and carbon is quite frankly insulting our intelligence.

    1. hefner
      February 5, 2020

      Milankovitch’s cycles are typically about 100,000 years long, so please tell me: where are we in the present M’s cycle? And what is it going to give us in the next, say, ten years? Warming or cooling?

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        February 6, 2020

        Hefner. Whatever it is I don’t think humans can change it.

        1. hefner
          February 7, 2020

          FUS, obviously not but it shows that timescales have to be taken into account. I hope we can agree on that.
          So if a Milankovitch cycle is around 100,000 years, and the Palaeozoic halving of the CO2 concentrations from 8000ppmv to 4000ppmv and then from 4000ppmv to 2000ppmv each took about 200 million years, should we not be somewhat puzzled than our present CO2 concentration went up by 40% in 150 years. How can we be sure that the processes at work and their possible consequences ´in those days’ are guaranteed to be the same as the processes possibly at work today?

  33. jerry
    February 5, 2020

    OT, BBC R5 has just had a interview with your colleague John Whittingdale, he stated that there is no method to quickly make the BBC a subscription only service, he is wrong, most modern TVs have CAM (Conditional access module) slots, many STBs also have them, those who already have Sky or BT-TV already have conditional access, I suspect very few viewers would require any new equipment but those who do can be supplied with an industry standard STB with a CAM slot, or professional help in setting up their equipment, just as was the case prior to the full DSO in 2012.

    Even if I’m wrong about the suitability of modern TV etc. to accept subscription based services, the argument Mr Wittingdal used was inconstant, his rational would have stopped parliament allowing both Sky and BSB from launching their subscription based satellite services back in the early 1990s! The technology did not then exist here in the UK, but it very soon did…

  34. David Cooper
    February 5, 2020

    In the event that a cycle of global cooling has been entered long before 2035, or if “harmful AGW” has been debunked by then, our current political class will look – in common parlance – like a right bunch of Charlies. Sadly it will not matter to them because by then they will have taken up residence in the Lords and made as much money as possible from the spin offs of green politics. What a strange world we live in when they choose to demonise the private car, a key symbol of personal freedom.

  35. Brian Tomkinson
    February 5, 2020

    More virtue signalling and disappointment from a government in office, with a significant majority, for just over 1 month. It is clear that none of this has been properly thought through, but who cares when you can get Sir ( Saint?) David Attenborough to speak alongside you? So far this government gets support from me for Brexit but I disagree with this climate emergency nonsense, involving Huawei in 5G and most likely pressing ahead with another vanity project HS2.

    1. Bob
      February 5, 2020

      Completely agree Brian. Some bad decisions there.
      The next test is decriminalisation of the BBC, and then we need to have proper open debate about climate change without this silly “science is settled” nonsense.

    2. BeebTax
      February 6, 2020

      Absolutely agree with both comments. Also disappointed that Hammond will get a knighthood. Delaying Brexit cost us billions.

  36. Beecee
    February 5, 2020

    Climate Change seems to be the new religion, and at its head a seventeen year old girl made up to talk like, dress like and look like a ten year old.

    All sense of rhyme and reason has disappeared!

  37. Northern mountaineer
    February 5, 2020

    Do the maths, it is impossible to achieve virtue-signalling aspirations. Repeal the Climate Change Act 2008 ASAP. CO2 is not a problem. Decarbonisation is a futile irrelevance and a curse brought on us by people who know nothing about climate science. Basing energy policy on false IPCC computer models is disastrous. The internal combustion engine is one of the most efficient machines ever invented by man.

  38. MG
    February 5, 2020

    The banning of the sale of Petrol and Diesel vehicles including hybrids by 2035 will result in vehicle manufacturers ceasing the development of ever cleaner Internal Combustion Engines and hybrids. A significant number of vehicle manufacturers may also cease to exist.
    The infrastructure issues of fitting enough electric charge points and electrical generation capacity will not be solved by 2035.
    Taken in conjunction with proposed bans on Gas fired heating, wood burning stoves and possible increases in the cost of what electricity is available will result in a nightmare world where many people outside of the major cities are unable to feed themselves, unable to keep warm and unable to travel, this will probably result in early death.
    All of these outcomes are easy to foresee for anyone with some intellectual capability and a willingness to consider the full picture.
    It is all very well for Climate zealots with no scientific education to preach their message and expect somebody else to sort out the mess that they would create. These people, who deliberately close their eyes to the full picture, should not feel virtuous for what they propose, they should feel ashamed that their policies would bring misery and death to millions of the humans whilst saving a few of their precious dormice and pine martins.

  39. Alan Jutson
    February 5, 2020

    Clearly the Government has not thought this through.

    I in common with many people tend to run a car until it is no longer economical to repair, as that is the best way to get value for money, typically purchased in year 2 it will run for about 15 years or more.
    Our primary vehicle is 13 years old, our secondary vehicle is 20 years old, both still have plenty of life in them, and the cost per mile driven, is low in comparison to the purchase and depreciation of a new car.

    Electric vehicles have a range problem and replacement batteries cost a fortune.

    Driving is a mixture of short around town, and lengthy journeys visiting family and holiday travel.

    Sit and wait and purchase nothing unless I have to ?

    Great news for the economy for the next 15 years. !

    1. Fred H
      February 5, 2020

      well done – rather like us. We had 3 old but popular cars, all low mileage historically and currently. First step we sold the oldest to a grateful youngish man, After a year or so we thought we could manage with only one car. I sold the MX5 to another young man who came miles to see it, test it and returned to buy. We have found one nearly new ( a mere 10 years old) does what we need just fine, and will be trusted to tour the Lake District yet again sometime in the summer. I encourage others to try – ignore the latest number plate boasters, a poor judge of people.

    2. The Prangwizard
      February 5, 2020

      My car is almost 20 years old. 225,000 miles. It runs very efficiently, no oil leaks. It has paid back its construction costs long ago. I am forced to pay a big tax for it, nearly £400pa. And I am forced to run it on abominably maintained roads.

  40. Alan Jutson
    February 5, 2020

    Thinking ahead.

    Where and in which Countries, are the raw materials for all of these batteries, and what volumes exist to be extracted for those raw materials ?

    The economic power of the World is about to shift big time.

    The Government should do a little more research me thinks, before it jumps into crisis/panic mode.

  41. a-tracy
    February 5, 2020

    We always seem to put the cart before the horse in the UK.

    When electric gets bought up first by the richer drivers and more petrol stations start to close, how do the rest of the public and small businesses get their fuel and without serious price inflation of petrol/diesel fuel as smaller quantities cost more to transport around and the supply chain starts to fail?

    Mercedes don’t even have an electric vehicle, we like to keep a car 15-20 years so we’re waiting to replace until there are suitable vehicles available.

    How do people without drives and those in apartments without electric in the garages recharge car batteries? Will they be small enough to carry into the house and recharge through the night.

    My battery currently drains if it isn’t used every day through keeping the alarm on, so how will occasional users of vehicles cope with this?

    Also, The Chinese authority must have had blue prints to build this hospital structure, plans, ready to action as necessary, in Britain we would spend 10 days just talking round in circles whilst people are in hospital corridors. I hope we have identified empty buildings that could be converted because we could never build and plumb in anything so fast!

  42. John S
    February 5, 2020

    What happens if one wants to take a journey longer than the range of the car before it needs recharging? It takes 30 minutes or more to charge. Where are these charging points to be situated? I can see large queues at charging stations. How is sufficient electricity to be generated while conventional power stations are being dismantled? Also the very important issue of tax revenue which you mentioned.
    This is all to fight a non-existent threat of man-made climate change. The world is bonkers.

  43. Pat
    February 5, 2020

    If it is thought necessary to ban internal combustion engines then that implies that the internal combustion engine is preferable to the consumer. No one has banned horses but nevertheless they are rarely used for transport.
    Consumers are voters. Unless the government is looking for an English version of les gillets jaune, and a wipout at the polls in about a decade I would suggest they reconsider.
    Bear in mind that green supporters fly more than others- what people ask for when they think it’s cost free is very different from what they want when the price is brought home.

  44. Richard1
    February 5, 2020

    I accept given the global hysteria, that a certain amount of loud green virtue signalling is inevitable. Like David Cameron putting that little windmill on top of his house. But let’s try to make sure as far as possible we keep it to loud words and not expensive measures.

    A few an answered questions are: where is the low-carbon electricity to power all these electric cars and home heating systems to come from given the govt is not building up either shale or nuclear? Will the govt be ensuring a charging infrastructure for all the cars? At the moment it takes about 20 mins to charge an electric car at a fuel station, and there’s rarely a queue as about 0.5% of vehicles are electric. What happens when they are all electric? Imagine a motorway filling station where every car needs to stop for 20 mins! Has the govt an idea for how to replace the £28bn received in fuel duties? Etc

    Stick to loud noises. Avoid economic wrecking.

  45. Richard416
    February 5, 2020

    I think we are being taken for a ride here.

  46. Anonymous
    February 5, 2020

    We have too many people trying to move around. The country is more crowded than it was designed to be which is why Hard Shoulders have been removed from motorways and people are being killed when they break down.

    People (including me) have been saying on the site that removal of the Hard Shoulder would cause fatalities. People who could not afford to live in the area of Grenfell Tower were killed on motorways trying to get to work but were uncounted.

    Now we’re telling you that they only way to reduce our carbon footprint whilst increasing the population is by lowering the standard of living.

  47. Keith Alan
    February 5, 2020

    The absolute cretinous stupidity of trying to ban fossil fueled vehicles based on fraudulent science is incredible. Plant life needs far more CO2 than the atmosphere currently has, cold weather records are being broken almost on a daily basis and we are told that driving around in inefficient, polluting, short range and dangerous electric vehicles will save the world. Now we are being told that the car industry is dying- what a shock. Look forward to many other industries dying if this policy continues.

  48. James Freeman
    February 5, 2020

    Some more unanswered questions…..

    How will electricity generators and the national grid cope when everyone gets home at 6 and recharges their car at the same time as peak demand? If it is not windy at the time, how will the electricity be generated carbon free?

    How will people without a drive, who park their cars on the street outside their home recharge their electric cars?

    The government does not seem to have thought this through.

  49. P.H.Crawford
    February 5, 2020

    It is important to remember in all this, that the UK produces merely 1% of total global CO2 emissions. Reducing this to zero will make absolutely no difference to global climate, but will result in very large increases in the cost of energy, to the detriment of everyone.

  50. IanT
    February 5, 2020

    Good article in the Mail today about the “carbon” comparisons between running an “old banger” versus replacing it every few years with a new car – which generates much more carbon in its construction than many thousands of miles in the “banger”. This situation gets much worse when a new electric vehicle is considered because of all the rare earths and other elements required for the motors and batteries. So lets have full disclosure of the relative carbon footprints involved before leaping into another short sighted mistake (like promoting “low-carbon” but particulate heavy diesels)

    I run a small efficient petrol engine car and have no plan to go electric in the near future. Rather than worry about carbon emissions – perhaps we should focus on waste and re-use instead – although I’m afraid Sir John seems more concerned that we should keep buying new cars rather than simply prolonging their useful service life.


    PS I’m in no hurry to change my gas boiler either. Get real UK politicians – Greta will only get one vote and that will be in Sweden. Young people may swallow her mass hysteria but don’t try asking them to stop their foreign holiday flights or ‘throw away’ fashion….that might be a real vote loser…

  51. Iain Moore
    February 5, 2020

    Our politicians, rather than being embarrassed about their advice on diesel cars, seem to have taken it as licence to an even more extreme intervention in our lives with Boris banning diesel, petrol and hybrid cars by 2035.

    We rack up some 327 billion miles of driving a year. An economy electric car does 3.6 miles per kilowatt , meaning we will require an awful lot of addition generating capacity. Its taking us 10 years and £22 billion to build two 1.6GWh reactors at Hinkley C. So where in the statement yesterday was Boris’s plans to build 20 (I think) additional Hinkley Cs and I presume Chancellor Javid is going to set aside some £400 billion in his next budget to build them, or as our political class is besotted with Greta Thunberg may be they think she will step off her carbon fiber yacht and turn pebbles into Lithium batteries , and have electricity flowing like milk and honey.

    1. Stred
      February 5, 2020

      They have accepted the advice of Gummer’s crew and will be shutting down all but one nuclear stations within ten years while building supposedly cheap 500 ft high wind turbines in the deep sea, which together with solar farms will supply 59% of our electricity, which will be three times the capacity required today. It’s in their technical report and is the opposite of the advice of the late Prof Sir David MacKay.

  52. kzb
    February 5, 2020

    Radio 4 just now: oil demand in China down 20%. Some forecast down 40% over the year. HK cutting flights into mainland China by 90%. XR will be celebrating.

  53. Andy
    February 5, 2020

    I hate to tell you all – but it appears you lost.

    The Greens have won. And good for them. Petrol and diesel cars are going – and I’ll wager that they’ll be effectively dead by 2025 anyway as who will buy them after that? Boilers will be next. There will be a solar and wind power explosions. Vegan food is everywhere.

    You lost.

    Get over it.

    1. Richard1
      February 5, 2020

      The vegan fad will fade especially once the health scares start coming and the production of artificial meat. Global warming hysteria is right up there still it’s true, so it’s a reasonable political calculation for Boris to play along with it for the time being. But by the end of Trumps second term the hysteria will have to subside unless by then there’s some evidence of the forecasts of doom coming right.

      Meanwhile can there be anyone who’s lost big time more than you? You predicted a cave in deal to the EU with the backstop. It’s gone., there’s no backstop. And there will be no cave in. You predicted a Tory wipe out at the election. And look what’s happened!

      Do keep positing here, difficult and frustrating as the coming years will be for you.

    2. Chris Dark
      February 5, 2020

      Haven’t you moved abroad yet?

    3. Edward2
      February 5, 2020

      Silly statement.

      The debate is about how we reduce pollution and reduce CO2 emissions.
      You are always wanting conflicts.

    4. Stred
      February 5, 2020

      More likely there will be hydrogen explosions.

    5. Fedupsoutherner
      February 5, 2020

      Andy this is pathetic even by your standards

    6. NickC
      February 6, 2020

      Andy, How much will you wager that “petrol and diesel cars … [will] be effectively dead by 2025”? Do you get your betting tips from Prince Charles?

  54. Norman
    February 5, 2020

    “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,”(Romans 1:22)
    Cause: Idolatry – worship of the creation, rather than the Creeator;
    Judgement (i.e. fitting, equitable penalty): “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient: …..” (v.28).
    PS: no harm in exploring new, cleaner technology, or generally improving things. The harm here is an antithesis of the true: being driven by an insanity based on a perverse ‘religious’ delusion.

  55. Fedupsoutherner
    February 5, 2020

    All the forests that will have to be cut down to be burnt will be counter productive. This is just a way to get the poorer in society off the roads. The whole project hasn’t been thought through properly and we have St Greta and Attenborough to thank for all of this. There will be a complete breakdown of society during periods of power cuts etc. Hydrogen would be a better option. Until we find some better way of producing clean energy which is reliable then this whole project is a farce. We are being forced to do something which will bring further damage to our planet and make our economy all the poorer for it. Are there no politicians that can see the madness in this?

    1. John Probert
      February 6, 2020

      I think your correct hydrogen would be the best long term option
      The politicians think short term

  56. BOF
    February 5, 2020

    Isn’t it time that all of our elected representatives (currently there seems to be only a handful) made an effort to educate themselves on climate change. By that I mean bringing in experts from both sides instead of cowering before the onslaught from extremists. There are plenty of highly qualified people who disagree strongly and they must be heard, and their views published in our mainstream media.

    Right now I think that we are being defrauded on a gigantic scale, on a par with ‘courier fraud’.

    The proposals are so far fetched that they are sure to cause major financial damage to the country. Much coverage to Norway on Radio 4 this morning but a dishonest comparison as Norway has huge reserves of power from hydro which the UK does not.

  57. ChrisS
    February 5, 2020

    I have no argument with the proposal to stop selling pure petrol or diesel vehicles from 2035 but the banning of Hybrids from that date is a step too far.

    An engineer I know who was in overall charge of the development of one of the best electric cars on the market told me that there will be no really significant improvement in range and charging issues within that timeframe. It is true that Porsche have a new 800v battery /charging system but that is significantly more expensive and therefore really only suitable for high end vehicles.

    Hybrid vehicles offer a low emission bridge between pure fossil fuel vehicles and full electric without the crippling range issues and should be allowed to continue till at least 2040-2045.

    I have always believed that we are currently in a Betamax/VHS situation with cars. The Betamax system was far superior but was overwhelmed by the marketing forces of the VHS manufacturers.

    The battery electric car is an expensive and unsuitable cul de sac and they are not suitable for towing trailers or caravans. They are being promoted by ignorant politicians who want a quick fix so they can be applauded for doing something about climate change but can’t be bothered to understand the alternatives.

    The future for road and rail vehicles should be Hydrogen Fuel Cell power which will not be blighted by range or charging issues and do not require precious exotic metals to manufacture the batteries. Vast supplies of electricity are not required to generate the Hydrogen, either. Crucially, there are no recharging issues because existing service stations can be converted to supply a 500 mile tank of Hydrogen in less than 5 minutes.

    Until politicians wake up and take a responsible attitude we, and the car industry will continue to be victims of the form of political correctness that is forcing the battery-electric car on us.

  58. JimS
    February 5, 2020

    The typical petrol pump delivers energy 3,000 times faster than is possible using the whole of the typical domestic electricity supply.

    Not only that but some are suggesting ‘stealing’ energy from cars on charge.

    We are going to need a lot of Unicorn Urine to burn if we are survive the plans of our politicians.

  59. Man of Kent
    February 5, 2020

    Has our Government not noted that theCOP scheduled to take place in Chile last year was moved to Madrid because their Government imposed new ‘green’ taxes and raised tube fares .
    Rioting started stations were trashed and Chile had to call the whole thing off .

    In France the gilets jaunes are furious at the tax attack on motorists and have rioted for months on end .
    Of course the BBC never reports events in these terms and we do not riot .
    But there will be a tide of seething resentment building up if we are persecuted for no
    reason other than the propaganda pushed out by the media .

  60. David
    February 5, 2020

    Petrol cars are so good now current models do double the mileage of ten years ago with less toxic emissions better with the new hybrids. Likely hydrogen technology could take over if oil starts to run out. As usual, with electric, government rather than the market backs the wrong horse. Can someone tell Boris that the carbon cycle is essential to all life and scrap the Climate Change Act.

  61. glen cullen
    February 5, 2020

    Margaret Thatcher had her ‘poll-tax’ and pursued that policy without understanding the feeling of the majority of the people that where against it, only listening to advisors, the media and lobby groups

    I can see history repeating itself with Boris Johnson forcing the people down an climate change /eco track

    The EU might be into social engineering… it appears the UK is as well

  62. GilesB
    February 5, 2020

    This is a typical example of Government bolting the door after the horse has left.

    But more significantly it is addressing yesterday’s problem.

    Uber is right. In twenty years shared vehicles, not individually owned, will be the dominant mode of personal transport. Government would do much better to get out of the way of this trend. Or indeed encourage pilots by allowing zones where self-driving vehicles are permitted. And perhaps by some modest funding.

  63. Alan Joyce
    February 5, 2020

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    In December, Mr. Johnson was re-elected on a tidal wave of optimism and hope. At last, I thought, we would be getting some solid, no nonsense government. Alas, things are starting to appear otherwise.

    We have had the Huawei decision which has managed to upset the US – and just before we want a trade agreement with them.

    HS2 looks as though it will be given the green light – inspite of its vast cost and dubious benefits.

    Only yesterday, we had the hybrid car fiasco with the government unable to say when or how it will pay for a network of charging points nor mention how it will replace the lost revenue from fuel duty. I do not think it has given much thought to what effect the banning of petrol/diesel/hybrid vehicles will have on consumer purchasing habits and manufacturing.

    Yesterday we also had the bizarre banning of some media representatives from a government briefing leading to a walkout of all those present.

    And just today, the government has caved in to the BBC as Nicky Morgan announces that over 75’s will have to pay for their licences after all and secondly, we will have ‘a review’ of the decriminalisation of licence fees. A review! That tactic so beloved of all politicians and governments who haven’t a clue what to do or where to go.

    Many people so want the best for our country and for Mr. Johnson to do well but I’m afraid to say the government already looks a bit out of touch.

  64. Stephen Elliott
    February 5, 2020

    ‘When it comes to banning the use of these vehicles as opposed to just stopping the purchase of new ones, will there be any compensation to those who have old vehicles that still work and which they rely on?’

    There surely can not be any question of banning the use of pre-2035 vehicles with internal combustion engines. This would effectively bring the effective ban on such new vehicles to circa 2025 as no-one is going to buy a petrol/diesel car that will have to be scrapped a few years later. Certainly no-one is going to buy one in 2034. I believe that any new construction and use laws for motor vehicles are not applied to existing vehicles(if your car is old enough it does not even have to have seatbelts). Surely this sensible approach will continue?

  65. ukretired123
    February 5, 2020

    Norway has a small population and massive hydro electric generation and exports nearly all its North Sea oil.
    It can afford to import lots of expensive Telsa electric vehicles as it has huge sovereign reserves from North Sea oil over many decades unlike Britain.
    So it is not too big a problem going 100% electric in a few years time and this will boost their tourist industry and attract investment from new research in EVs.
    It puts them on the map and gets them noticed better than sardines and South Pole exploits.

    For the rest of us we still await breakthroughs in technology and Germany and France are experiencing a big economic shock in the motor industry due to dominance and reliance on diesel in particular.

    This is Structural Economic Change as when Steam was replaced on Railway transport by Diesel. The implications are massive but so too are opportunities to be inventive.

    The EU is not in the bargaining position it has enjoyed in recent years and relies on UK billions to keep it afloat. Scrapping their expensive limousines and scrapping the monthly gravy train expedition jolly from Brussels to Strasbourg would be a good start to lead by example.

  66. Know-Dice
    February 5, 2020

    Battery electric cars are not the answer.

    The only place that they may be helpful is reducing particulate pollution in cities but I understand particles from braking systems is also a large issue from any vehicle.

    Then consider where the raw materials for the current generation of batteries comes from – Cobalt from the DRC via child labour, is that something we should condone?

    1. Know-Dice
      February 5, 2020

      I should clarify that…

      The currently available battery technology for electric cars is not the answer…

  67. Ex-Tory
    February 5, 2020

    I know a lot of effort and money is being put into carbon capture. But I can’t help feeling that if the entire budget and effort expended on fighting climate change was devoted to carbon capture it would have a far bigger impact, not least because of not having to pursue an uphill struggle to change the way we live our lives.

  68. agricola
    February 5, 2020

    I note that “Speakeritis” has become a disease in the USA. Perlosi has confirmed her partiality by tearing up the Presidents speach to the nation. A churlish act for a supposedly impartial Speaker. The left has wounded itself in the UK. Now the left in the USA seems determined to do the same. Is it that both have failed to respond in a credible way to the aspirations of the people, but have yet to realise it.

    She is the Democrat leader in the House

    1. agricola
      February 5, 2020

      Sorry, it was the layout of the house that fooled me, but it does not excuse her behaviour.

  69. Edwardm
    February 5, 2020

    In a speech on Monday, Boris said he would be guided by science and not mumbo-jumbo. On Tuesday he announced banning the sale of fossil fuel powered cars. He didn’t say if that was as a result of scientifically examining all evidence to do with climate behaviour and on what likelihood he based his decision.
    He did not indicate whether the environmental costs of extracting rare-earth metals for use in magnets in electric vehicles and the cost of a bigger electricity distribution network, nor how the electricity is going to be generated, had been considered or factored in.
    Has the relative economic cost and inconvenience been considered, versus how much useful effect it will have according to true science, and how useful will it be, if other countries in the world fail to ban fossil fuel burning and in the same timeframe.
    This looks to be some most expensive virtue signalling.

    On electricity generation, base load can be generated by nuclear stations, but they should be British designed, built and controlled – we did so in the past (why are we going to the Chinese to build us a new reactor in Bradwell Essex). And could we get Norway to supply us with a large amount of hydroelectricity (via an undersea DC link).

    1. hefner
      February 5, 2020

      The 1400MW Norway connector is supposed to become operational in 2021.

  70. Rhoddas
    February 5, 2020

    Putting aside the raging political and scientific debates about whether we influence CO2 emissions overall – new greener technologies are within reach and UK Plc should be at the forefront of their research, development (patents) and production and exporting/licencing

    It is good stewardship to utilise these alternative energy sources, removing pollutants from the atmosphere, land/seas/rivers are all well overdue!

    Why have we missed out substantially being the Leaders on solar (China), wind turbines (Denmark), fuel cell & hybrids (Japan), electric cars Tesla (USA)? Fusion is something we’ve been researching for decades, maybe that will happen…?

    Boris has said clearly his is aiming to put the UK at the forefront of this energy transformation and economically I forsee this to be excellent for our children, their job prospects and their quality of life. What’s not to like!

    1. hefner
      February 5, 2020

      It is an old(ish) book, but if you were to put your hands on Dieter Helm’s “British Energy Policy in the 1990s: The Transition to the Competitive Market”, 1994, I guess you might get some answers to your questions (in your penultimate paragraph), realise who in the various Governments were influent at the time, (spoiler: some people are still active in politics today).
      I found my copy of that book in a National Trust second hand bookshop for £3, ten times cheaper than the original price.
      It is a bit less accessible than “The Blunders of Our Governments” by A.King and I.Crewe but the overall story line is the same.

    2. Stred
      February 5, 2020

      It won’t work, it will be very expensive and not make any difference to the climate. That’s what’s not to like.

  71. Ian @Barkham
    February 5, 2020

    Boris and the Conservatives are falling into the trap.

    They didn’t win the GE on ‘Get Brexit Done’, they won it because in part they appeared to be the antidote to an un-democratic un-listening parliament.

    Donald Trump didn’t win his election because he was Donald Trump, he won it because he wasn’t the Establishment

    No one want a government of mightier than thou sound bites, a cabal of me-too acolyte’s and Government that is trying to be down with the un-thought through social media messages.

    All that is required is an entity that permits the people to release their full potential. This Government should focus on restoring the UK to the aspirational democracy and freedom we deserve, before all this social media clap-trap.

    I despair as to what this Conservative Party has become, a left wing interventionist you could say Populist Socialist Party.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      February 5, 2020


    2. BeebTax
      February 6, 2020


  72. Charles Crane
    February 5, 2020

    I await with baited breath to see how this all falls apart. Banning hybrids is lunacy.

    I can see the advantages in terms of emissions by going to electric, but all we will be doing is moving the pollution point from the exhaust pipe to the generating station. Hybrids at least make a degree of sense. energy recapture can be used to charge the batteries and when you run out of range on electric you don’t stop dead in the inside lane of a smart motorway. And this is made worse by the fact that some of these damned things can’t be towed.

    My guess is that this will be pushed back for a number of reasons :

    (1) Insufficient charging points
    (2) Inability of the national grid to meet the demand for charging
    (3) Some eco-nut will start banging on about the pollution caused by all those spent batteries
    (4) Range limitations
    (5) Charging time
    (6) Drop in tax revenues from petrol sales
    (7) The public refusing to fork out the initial costs and stomaching the depreciation cliff edge

    So what will happen? Well nobody is going to buy a new car in 2035 so the new car market will collapse and the second market will boom.

    Let’s face it, it sounds good but it ain’t gonna fly is it???

    1. Iain Moore
      February 5, 2020

      Around this neighbourhood they are rewiring some electricity pylons. For the last two weeks they have been delivering scaffolding , truck loads of it, and with the use of tractors, building scaffold towers either side of roads , over which I presume they will lay the cabaling. The palaver involved is quite extraordinary, and they think they are going to rewire the country in 15 years? Forget it!

    2. Stred
      February 5, 2020

      Their mad plan is to borrow the car batteries to store the electricity from 15,000 wind turbines. The amounts are similar for a day. Drivers will be expected to put the electricity back into the grid when the wind doesn’t blow. They really are that daft.

  73. Ian Kaye
    February 5, 2020

    Is the BMW i3 with a range extender get you home moped engine to be classified as a hybrid?If so this would be clearly ludicrous and would exceed the tightest emission standards anywhere,even in California.

    1. acorn
      February 5, 2020

      The BMW i3 REx plug-in hybrid I believe has been discontinued. The i3 is now a straight battery electric.

      Banning PLUG-IN Hybrids is silly, they are an excellent vehicle transition technology. If we get to a point where filling station cease to dispense petrol and diesel and just offer kilowatt hours pumps.

      BTW. A rough calculation for our cul-de-sac of 24 bungalows. If we all install 7kW car chargers to our 100 amp fused (23 kW) electricity supplies; and, we all start charging our car batteries at about dinner time, 6 pm in the evening; through the forty year old supply cables under the pavements; where one of the three phases died two years ago; …

      1. Ken Moore
        February 8, 2020

        Indeed, the electricity supply already has to be expanded to supply potentially millions of new homes. We already know the Uk is spectavularly bad at infra structure. The East coast mainline still isn’t fuly electrified – the Victorians built the lines with picks and shovels in less time than it took to complete the work so far.

        We live in an increasingly complex world yet our politicians are more poorly prepared and educated than ever. If that wasn’t bad enough they are increasingly divorced from facts and reason by following the doctrine of political correctness. What a mess..well more of a catastrophe !

  74. Man of Kent
    February 5, 2020

    On 3 February OFGEM published their ‘ Decarbonisation Action Plan ‘

    The Global Warming Policy Foundation notes today that the regulator is to all appearances no longer bound by its original brief to protect the consumer.
    Instead it is now just one more UK institution committed to the delivery of climate mitigation policies , whatever the cost to energy consumers .

    Surely Boris is more aware politically than to risk his Conservative majority and fund of
    goodwill pursuing these policies.

  75. William Long
    February 5, 2020

    I see Cameron and Haig have not leaped at the chance of chairing this climate change conference but perhaps we have a new role here for Nigel Farage: free us from all this green nonsense. Another final word might have been more appropriate but might not have got through the moderator’s screen!

  76. Atlas
    February 5, 2020

    Perhaps, John, you could tell us what is really driving this Government’s Zero Carbon move?

    Most politicians are sceptical about Economic Forecasts, knowing that to try modelling something with more than 7 variables is unlikely to result in accurate outcomes. Yet when it comes to Global Warming/Climate Change modelling all that scepticism seems to have gone out of the window. Why are politicians in thrall to the doomsters? Is is merely they think that there are votes in it for them?

  77. Lifelogic
    February 5, 2020

    So Nicky (Now Baroness) Morgan (another pro EU, lefty, Oxford. Jurisprudence Graduate) wants to decriminalise non payment of the BBC licence fee. Why only “decriminalise” it – just get rid of it completely unless you choose to subscribe to the lefty wing, climate alarmist, PC, pro EU, anti-male propaganda outfit? But why would anyone want to (other than perhaps for the occasional think on radio 3 or 4? It is also all stuffed with trailers and adverts now too. Albeit only for charities or BBC products. Surprising they have not launched a BBC washing powder and breakfast cereal brand yet.

    Such pathetic snowflakes we have at Cambridge nowadays. CAMBRIDGE University Students’ Union has said that having military personnel at a freshers’ fair is “alarming” for attendees and could “detrimentally affect” their mental health! Should these people not perhaps be still at nursery school rather than matriculating at Cambridge? At least the university has not (yet) banned investment in fossil fuels!

    Philip Johnson in the Telegraph – There is a £28 billion black hole in the Boris electric car revolution. Banning petrol and diesel cars will leave the Treasury short – the only answer is unpopular road pricing

    Road pricing will indeed surely come making electric cars even less attractive than they are already. But they should not be banning petrol cars when electric ones work and are cheap enough people will buy them. Why force people to buy duff ones before they work or are practical or cost effective?

    1. John Hatfield
      February 5, 2020

      It was reported elsewhere that decriminalisation would not take place until 2027. That is seven years from now. If this is so why talk about it now and raise everyone’s hopes?

  78. Anonymous
    February 5, 2020

    BBC calling a right wing politician ‘divisive’ yet again (Trump.) They did it with Thatcher. Well Blair was highly divisive, so too Brown but they never called them this.

    In a bi party system leaders are *meant* to be divisive.

    1. Iain Moore
      February 5, 2020

      Same with Brexit, Brexit was divisive, but Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon that led to Brexit weren’t. As to Trump, the BBC makes much of Trump not shaking Pelosi’s hand , but they happily forget that Pelosi failed to use the traditional formal introduction of President Trump.

  79. John Probert
    February 5, 2020

    Fully autonomous electric cars should be our goal
    Only the law is the limitation
    As the amount of tax received by the treasury reduces from petrol or diesel
    It may have to be collected from electricity or car tax or a combination
    The subsidies should stay in place
    The Government needs to get serious about the countries electricity supply
    Where is the electricity coming from for the millions of charging points ?

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      February 5, 2020

      John we never get answers to the questions about ensuring we have enough energy.

  80. Dee
    February 5, 2020

    All the Government is doing this for is to gain ‘Brownie Points’ on the World stage seen by Boris’s statement that we must lead the World on beating the CC. Fact is no matter what he does to us or how much cash he throws at it, £1.5 TRILLION at the last count @ todays prices, probably £5TRILLION in 2035. We only produce <0.1% of the Worlds gasses while China produces 30% and allowed to let it grow. What we produce is a piss in the Ocean & will make us all poorer for negative results.. So as you see, in spite of Brexit & the Gov promising to listen to us, they still ignore us. Best of it is that another scientific survey came out yesterday saying that in fact the Sun is starting it's 'Minimalist State', something to do with the sunspots & the Sun goes through regular intervals of maximising its heat & minimising its heat. This minimising will last for 50yrs & average temperatures will drop by 1 degree, a mini ice age. Which will make Boris & the rest of the CC idiots look foolish if it is true. Trouble is we always end up paying for these idiots..

  81. Rhoddas
    February 5, 2020

    Reading Bloomberg today …

    “Wind power is carbon-free and about 85% of turbine components, including steel, copper wire, electronics and gearing can be recycled or reused. But the fiberglass blades remain difficult to dispose of (basically landfill). With some as long as a football field, big rigs can only carry one at a time, making transportation costs prohibitive for long-distance hauls. Scientists are trying to find better ways to separate resins from fibers or to give small chunks new life as pellets or boards.”

    I would hope / encourage any company (UK preferred) to develop ways of reprocessing fibreglass waste, as there will be alot of source material, same issue with modern Li-ion batteries. Super opportunities!

  82. The Prangwizard
    February 5, 2020

    What will we use for lubrication of moving parts? Perhaps the Green fanatics will suggest killing whales again.

  83. Martin C
    February 5, 2020

    I understand the UN’s next climate report in 2022 is going take into account solar forcing of the climate for the very first time. Perhaps it would be sensible consult them and put off irrevocable decisions until then?

    Man-made carbon dioxide is not the cause of climate change; indeed, carbon dioxide is essential for all life on earth. Instead, look to the solar minimum, the weakening magnetosphere, increases in solar radiation (including UVC), the effects of the reversal of the magnetic poles, increased cloud cover caused by increased cosmic rays, and the Galactic sheet currently believed to be passing through our solar system.

    Disruptions in star systems nearest to us, aligned towards the centre of the galaxy, have been observed over the last 20 years or so, and it just happens that the sun is next on the list. Now, I understand there is also unexpected climate change on Venus, Saturn and Jupiter, with Mars experiencing an increase in Mars-quakes. We’re not responsible for that! See the bigger picture before you bankrupt the nation and drive is back into the stone age.

    1. hefner
      February 5, 2020

      Martin C, The IPCC AR5 report (published in 2014) was considering the effect of the 11-year solar cycle and concluded that it was much smaller than the GHG forcing. For a discussion led by a quite sceptical scientist, Judith Curry, look at (or Climate Etc) for the posts on 01/10/2013 “IPCC solar variations don’t matter”. As a real scientist (not like some clown regularly advertised by a contributor on this blog) she had had access to the various reports when it was being discussed and written, thus her blog in 2013.

    2. hefner
      February 5, 2020

      Scientists have shown/found a link between increased cosmic rays and increased low cloud cover. The only problem is that such an increase in cloud cover, possibly with smaller liquid cloud droplets, would/should be a negative feedback (clouds reflecting more solar radiation) therefore counteracting a potential warming by GHGs. Depending who you believe/trust, it should either cool the atmosphere or at least maintain the atmosphere in a steady temperature state. Is that what is being observed?

      1. Edward2
        February 6, 2020

        One puzzle is that since 2000 despite measured atmospheric CO2 levels continuing to rise, the rate of global temperature rise has not matched the predictions based on the IPCC models.
        The rate of increase has slowed.

        1. hefner
          February 7, 2020

          Might possibly be true for the UK temperatures, simply not true looking country by country and adding up including sea surface temperature.
          You might want at times to open up and read outside your usual sources. Have you ever considered reading publicly available documents by various meteorological services? These will not report predictions but actual measurements by radiosondes, synoptic stations, satellite sounders, buoys, aircrafts, …

          1. hefner
            February 7, 2020

            And specifically for the rate of increase in temperature, NOAA’s 2019 Global Climate Summary (not IPCC) says that temperature has increased at 0.07C per decade since 1880, and the average rate of increase since 1981 is 0.18C per decade. From 2000 to 2018 the global temperature anomaly went from +0.4 to +0.85C (a bit more than 0.2C per decade).

            But as Edward2 knows from reading from all his science-related sources global temperature has been steady since 2000 (sic or should it be, sick?).

  84. Jiminyjim
    February 5, 2020

    The basic problem is arrogance. The science of long term climate projection is quite stunningly complex and yet those driving this are claiming total knowledge and ability, not just to predict the future, but also to be able to ‘write back’ into history what the situation was before industrialisation and then project that change forward.
    We should have the honesty to admit that we cannot do this with any degree of accuracy at all, let alone one within such very tiny margins.
    And as for basing policy on these projections, well I’m afraid it just underlines how we’ve lost the ability to do basic maths since ‘computer modelling’ took over. We will learn. The problem is that we may do huge damage to our own well-being before we finally fully understand what is going on

  85. formula57
    February 5, 2020

    As for “There is also the large looming issue of how will the tax gap be made up if there is wholesale conversion to electric…” surely not, for will not Vehicle Excise Duty just be applied at £145 (minimum) per electric vehicle, likely with some swinging premium on top to recognize the benefit to owners of other running costs being cheaper?

    1. JohnK
      February 5, 2020

      You are forgetting that the government taxes petrol and diesel at about 80p per litre.

  86. villaking
    February 5, 2020

    Sir John,
    Many pertinent questions to consider. It is much more informative to read your analysis than the rants of many who post here so thank you. It does sound like a “date without a plan” from the government

  87. dixie
    February 5, 2020

    Are you assuming that the 1.6% is because of demand constraints? Sign up for Tesla and others suggest the problem is supply.

  88. RichardP
    February 5, 2020

    Fifteen years doesn’t seem to be very long to rewire every street in the country and build enough nuclear power stations to charge all these electric cars. I suppose the infrastructure costs will be loaded onto our utility bills just like the cost of the useless Smart Meters.
    This ‘initiative’ could wreck the country’s economy with everyone waiting for the wind to blow before they can use their electric vehicles. All the fuss made about the impact of BREXIT on the economy and yet the prospect of no electricity and no transport doesn’t seem to bother our politicians!

  89. Turboterrier
    February 5, 2020

    Sir John

    If these ministers are so totally committed to removing diesel driven vehicles from our roads to meet their for many what is an impossible target, one has to ask have they really thought outside the box.? The zero carbon directive is for the whole of the UK. So what will be the cost to turn all our warships, planes, tanks into electrical driven combat machines?

    I have been reading in the DE on line (so it must be true) that the French fishermen are kicking off about Guernsey and threatening to blockade ports and or burn their boats. To protect our waters we need more ships not only against foreign fishermen but also illegal immigrants. In the short term we can add ships from and manned by our naval reserves. Will give them more sea time and increase training and their efficiency and they end up doing a well worthwhile job for the nation.

    On one hand industry, commercial and domestic residents of this country are being told that the price for zero emissions of CO2 will be electric vehicles. But because the armed forces are there to defend the country they can burn whatever they like and their carbon footprint doesn’t count? Could it be that aspects of our defence equipment will have to be nuclear or hrdrogen powered? This response is a bit tongue in cheek but if we are signed up for zero emissions as a country then one would assume that means everything and everybody. Doesn’t it?

  90. miami.mode
    February 5, 2020

    …..The aviation industry…plant based fuel…..

    What are we going to eat?

  91. DaveK
    February 5, 2020

    Not being a car owner, I would like to point out that there are 1.25 million motorcycles registered in the UK.

  92. John Hatfield
    February 5, 2020

    I recollect when I was working in Saudi Arabia, The Saudis were contemplating financing the development of a hydrogen-fuelled L10-11. It involved stretching the fuselage to accommodate an extra fuel tank. In the end it came to nothing, I don’t know why. That must have been around 30 or 40 years ago but if the technology was available then, perhaps it could be looked at again.

  93. Norman
    February 5, 2020

    The more I think about these proposals (electrification and automation of personal transport) the crazier it seems. This is typical SUBURBAN nonsense.
    Due to my life’s work in rural areas, I cannot envisage how any of these new ideas would work. I think of all the farmers in the beautiful county of Shropshire. It would surely be well nigh impossible to get to so many remote locations along single-track roads in a self-driving car, let alone having to charge-up beforehand. I just remember the end of the horse transport era – a ride in a pony and trap was delightful on a sunny spring day! And of course in many countries, the horse is still the best way to get around off-road. Is that where we’re headed? And would we need to drive livestock to market on the hoof?? Oops, no livestock except horses – everyone living on veggie-burgers (and vitamin B12 pills). With the carbon and nitrogen cycle disrupted, as well as soil structure, sounds like a recipe for famine, and then lawlessness. Is that what the Extinction Rebellion co-leader meant about ‘wilding’ and becoming feral? Never mind, call for the locusts – they make tasty fare! Is it just me, or is the cuckoo arriving earlier these days?

  94. Pauline Baxter
    February 5, 2020

    I am totally gobsmacked that anyone should think it possible to have only electric cars in use. The majority of us do NOT live in a house with a drive and garage where we can charge our car overnight. The vast majority of car owners have to find kerbside overnight parking wherever they can. Are the roads going to be lined with charging points for us to plug into?
    The whole policy is LUDICROUS. I am amazed that you are not pointing this out.
    Quite apart from that CO2 is a harmless gas which plants feed on and there is no scientific basis to the whole global warming theory.

  95. Gareth Warren
    February 5, 2020

    400,000 of the last 450,000 years were spent in a ice age. The longest interglacial period is the present one.

    This fixation with CO2 is shear lunacy, while I prefer a cleaner environment we today have policies such as burning wood fuel which in no way achieve that, future generations will not thank us.

  96. Bob McMillan
    February 6, 2020

    Most people can’t afford to buy a new car. So subsidies for electric cars are going to people with enough cash to afford new wheels. This seems very unfair to me. Why should the taxes of folk with ordinary incomes help pay for the cars of wealthier folk?

  97. Lindsay McDougall
    February 6, 2020

    There isn’t a problem if non-electric cars may be driven until 2050. If that is the intention, best to announce it now. If people are allowed to plan ahead there is no need to throw taxpayers money at the problem.

    Maybe some genius could design electrical engines to fit into vintage cars. As long as they look old, that’s all that matters.

    A friend of mine runs a second hand car business; it is really suffering because the bottom has dropped out of the second hand car market. Is there not some way of allowing diesels in rural areas but charging heavily for their use in cities? After all, diesels omit less CO2 than petrol engines.

  98. DavidJ
    February 6, 2020

    Where is the infrastructure going to come from to provide all this electricity? What fuel will it use?

    To much virtue signalling to appease the mad green brigade. Maybe they should be put on an island somewhere where they can try their crazy experiment.

  99. Ken moore
    February 7, 2020

    ‘Aviation spirit’ ie Avgas. Is JR aware we have entered the jet age?

  100. alastair harris
    February 7, 2020

    Why ban? It’s the reaction of oppression! If the technology is any good people will switch, it isn’t yet so they aren’t. This is just government imposing damage. The enormous cost of a policy based on the fallacy of man made global warming,

  101. Glyn Charlesworth
    February 7, 2020

    The government’s proposed policy on the banning of petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles will I believe prove to be an embarrassment. The policy is both unworkable and, more importantly, suggests, uncomfortably, that the Government is prepared to make sweeping statements of policy without undertaking the analysis to ensure itself that those policies are sensible. This augurs ill for the future of the government’s policies on health, education, the infrastructure and the constitution.

    Presently there are about 32 million cars in the UK and only a few percent are electric. If we assume that a minimum of 10 million cars are all electric by 2035 and each has an energy capacity of about 25 kWh and requires charging overnight using a 4kW charger for 8 hours then this would require about 40GW of power overnight.

    Demand on the UK electricity system is currently about 42GW – i.e., slightly more than would be required to charge 10 million cars overnight.

    Currently about 50% of supply comes from fossil fuels. 7% or so comes from coal which is to be phased out completely, by 2024. 45% or more comes from natural gas – the supply of which is in decline and by 2035 is forecast to be at less than half of today’s level.

    About 20% of supply comes from nuclear (14%) and biomass (6%). Nuclear supply is being reduced and only one is being built. Build time for nuclear plant is circa 10 to 15 years.

    Renewable energy provides about another 20% of supply (which requires 95%back-up from non-renewable installations); 9% is solar, 9% wind and 2% hydroelectric. Solar is not available at night, wind is not always available and is unpredictable.

    About 5% of supply comes from other countries, (e.g. Norway and France).

    Without a crash building of four nuclear power plants starting now it will not be possible for 10 million electric vehicles to be re-charged.

    The proposed ban on the installation of gas and oil domestic heating from 2025 will make the shortfall even greater as the proposed alternatives are all electricity intensive. The prospect that commercial vehicles will also be required to be electric will further exacerbate the problem.

    But even without the proposed ban on non-electric vehicles there does not appear to be any policy in place that will guarantee that electricity supply does not become precarious before 2035. The improbability of what is supposed is only increased when the costs are considered.

  102. Chaswarnertoo
    February 7, 2020

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    Your lack of technical knowledge is showing. This policy is insanity.
    Please consult Piers Corbyn, Jeremy’s smart older brother so you can understand my comment.
    Yours Dr Chas Warner

  103. Ken Moore
    February 8, 2020

    March 2017 Nissan Qashqai 1.5DCI – tax £30
    May 2017 Nissan Qashqai 1.5 DCI – – Tax £170

    Pure idiocy!. Who thought that would be a good idea!. So we had record numbers of car manufacture and lots of well paid jobs. Then a Conservative chancellor comes along and imposes a quite unfair 560% tax hike. The Chinese must have had a good laugh about that…How many times have we complained about Conservatives (not being conservative enough) and been told to shut up because the party only wins when it’s on the ‘centre ground’. The centre ground is a graveyard of extremism, crap ideas, faulty thinking, virtue signalling and largely devoid of facts and reason.

    Are the greens aware how many 1000’s of tons of earth need to be moved with diesel excavators to make 1 ton of copper etc. How damaging lithium manufacture is to the environment?. What will they do in London – festoon the streets with charging points and cables – we will need a whole new national grid once millions of fast chargers plug in.

    What about the fundamental laws of physics that limit how much energy an ‘ideal’ battery can store? The laws of economics that will drive up the cost of materials once the transition to electric gets into full swing ?

    Lazy, ignorant, pointless, virtue signalling , arrogant politicians, sheep like . (JR not included!)

    Modern diesels with adblue technology and particle filters are very clean we should continue to develop these with electric for niche uses.

    Ascent of man – Stone age, Iron age, Bronze age, industrial age, reckless stupid age (this is where our ascent will end…

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