The German plan for net zero carbon

A recent German study puts the cost of taking Germany to net zero carbon by 2050 at Euro 7.6 trillion. Much of this will fall on German consumers to pay. They will need to buy different cars, insulate their homes, change the heating systems in their homes, pay more for their travel and the rest.

Some of this cost will be displacement of investment renewal that takes place anyway. Cars, boilers, trucks, planes all have a finite life. The additional cost comes from replacements that are dearer than the originals, and above all from regulators requiring early retirement of the existing investment.

The business world will be at the forefront of this transition. The petrol companies have to move from a big chain of filling stations to a big chain of electric chargers. The airlines have to buy a new generation of jets that burn alternative fuels. The plastics industry has to close capacity whilst the paper and wood industry needs to expand for packaging and other items.

It would be good to see a proper costing for the UK, and more work on what this means by way of transformation of our shops, homes, industrial plants and transport systems. Clearly there need to be plenty of closures of hydrocarbon based ways of working, living and travelling. Car plants making petrol and diesel vehicles , oil and gas companies exploiting natural resources, manufacturers of traditional heating systems, fuel intensive production of many things will all need to adapt or be closed down.

What timetable do you think acceptable for this big change? Or do you think  this is a wrong course of action ? How much should an individual be expected to spend on home improvement and transport change?


  1. Pominoz
    October 15, 2019

    Sir John,

    It all sounds like an incredible undertaking which will have ramifications as yet unforeseen. When, some years into the future, the tragedy of what has been imposed by those believing they can actually control Earth’s climate is revealed, I do hope that the effects on mankind will still be recoverable.

    Unsound science based on a myriad of different and unproven hypotheses does not lead to forecasts which are credible. As many here have said – the whole thing is like a religion. Care of environment is one thing. Foolishly and arogantly believing we can control nature is something else. We attempt it at our peril.

    1. Martin in Cardiff
      October 15, 2019

      The building blocks of climatology are not unproven hypotheses.

      The Planck equation is proven.

      The absorption spectrums for gases such as methane and carbon dioxide are proven.

      The rates of increase of these gases in the atmosphere are proven.

      The average planetary temperature of radiative equilibrium, for a very wide range of parameters, e.g. varying albedos, has been calculated using proven mathematics.

      From these, a range of possible futures has been deduced. Although some are far more serious than others, none of them suggest for one moment that humanity can continue as it has been doing.

      1. Edward2
        October 15, 2019

        The UK has reduced its CO2 emissions by 40% since the 1990’s
        An remarkable achievement considering the great rise in our population.

      2. Dennis Zoff
        October 16, 2019

        Martin in Cardiff

        As an aside, I have not seen any plans for battery recycling on a global scale, have you?

        Did you know that each year in the UK alone we throw away around 600+ million batteries, which can become highly toxic if not disposed of correctly? Can you imagine the scale globally…but the Climate Change zealots are pushing hard for electric mobility/energy to meet the target before 2050?

        When batteries begin to rot away in landfill sites these chemicals may leak into the ground, which can cause soil and water pollution. When chemicals contaminate soil and the water animals, humans and the general environment can be seriously harmed. No doubt all the third world countries will take all the necessary precautions, right?

        In the EU alone as few as 5% of lithium-ion batteries are recycled. This has an environmental cost. Not only do the batteries carry a risk of giving off toxic gases if damaged, but core ingredients such as lithium and cobalt are finite and extraction can lead to water pollution and depletion among other serious environmental consequences.

        The world is sitting on battery technology and its derivatives environmental disaster…but hey, we are getting rid of all the other environmental nasties right?

        Does it have all the hallmarks of another green tax grab, one may ask?

        1. dixie
          October 16, 2019

          I agree the political motivation is questionable and their ambition is ahead of current capability and their willingness to invest and support the necessary R&D. But, things are happening despite them.

          According to Ecosurety nearly 17,000 tonnes of batteries were collected in the UK in 2016 and were shipped for processing and recycling in Poland, France and Germany.

          Since then there has been a programme to establish UK battery recycling (eg Westcare in Halifax) with the eventual goal to process up to 20,000 tonnes of batteries pa. Lithium battery processing would be a separate process. Research on battery recycling is being done under the auspices of the Faraday Institution.

      3. dixie
        October 16, 2019

        @mic – And yet something as “simple” as clouds cannot be accommodated in your proven mathematics and “experts” have been resorting to fabricating and changing data to suite their agendas.

      4. NickC
        October 16, 2019

        Martin, I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. Again. IR radiation from the Earth is real, but the planet is not a black body. Planetary IR emissions say nothing about the behaviour of atmospheric “greenhouse” gases (which don’t act like a greenhouse anyway). So invoking Planck in that context is nonsense.

        No one doubts that CO2 re-radiates IR. So does water vapour. The earth’s climate is vastly more complex than just CO2 – picked out as a bogeyman by activists and politicians. It is also chaotic so intrinsically unpredictable. The GCMs have a very poor record of prediction – no wonder since their grids may be 100km wide. As a CAGW believer you need to know what balances the global CO2 sinks and sources. Until you do, you cannot say anything relevant.

    2. James1
      October 15, 2019

      The notion that human beings can measure the temperature of the earth let alone control it to half a degree is laughably absurd.

    3. BOF
      October 15, 2019

      Good comment Pominoz. I agree with Peter Hitchens in MOS that ER is the new Comunism.

    4. oldtimer
      October 15, 2019

      Agreed. This is self imposed lunacy. The objective is highly questionable – science is never settled. The means, politically imposed targets, will lead to colossal waste of resources. Added to the fact that the West is already driving itself to lower living standards by imposing on itself more and more costly social obligations, this will all end in tears. At some point there will be voter backlash.

    5. NickC
      October 15, 2019

      Pominoz, You are right – the forecasts of global warming are not credible. Because warmist forecasts have been universally wrong over the last 30 odd years.

      1. bill brown
        October 17, 2019


        But your forecasts are always right as we know

        1. NickC
          October 17, 2019

          Bill Brown, I almost never make forecasts. But the CAGW believers do, and very frequently. And they expect all of society to change to suit their forecasts. Which have been universally wrong to date.

    6. cynic
      October 15, 2019

      Economic suicide! How many people are going to vote for this nonsense?

      1. cynic
        October 15, 2019

        Oh! I forgot: votes don’t matter.

    7. Everhopeful
      October 15, 2019

      Unsound ( inventive) science can however, when politically and thus legally reinforced, lead to people being obliged to buy more and more and more stuff!
      I imagine that the diesel scandal was in part an exercise in manipulation. Like smoking ban.
      How much will they put up with?
      Buy diesel…safe as houses.. Oh errrrr…no! Buy electric!
      “Bleat, bleat. Please take my money and pwotect me.”

    8. A Poet
      October 15, 2019

      …like a religion…” Yes a Western one. It debilitates developing nations. Imagine The Green brigade in our own Industrial Revolution? No steam engines, no warmth from coal, no steel for bridges, no meat, no woolen garments, death.
      I wandered lonely as a cloud
      Everyone else was dead.

    9. Hope
      October 15, 2019

      There is a clear need to clean up our environment from plastics, rivers and seas from waste etc. All of the cost should be at the expense of business who cause it- ie supermarket should bear the expense food waste, plastic bags and wrappings, not the consumer like cameron forced on us. Energy is another matter. The Climate Change Act needs scrapping.

      Article in Con Woman today worth a read how much this green lunacy is actually costing already in our energy bills for govt virtue signalling to keep the Green Lobby quiet.

      Utter madness.

    10. Norman
      October 15, 2019

      Well said – spot-on! The trouble is, public opinion is coerced, and politicians are dragooned into responding, because many do not realize that scientists interpret evidence according to a prevailing worldview, which can be seriously erroneous. The tactics being used in this instance are controlling, and should be resisted.

    11. Richard Mortimer
      October 15, 2019

      Dear Sir John

      The most important first step is to have a proper debate on ‘global warming,’ ‘climate change,’ etc. Viscount Monkton just gave a very interesting speech on the fact that the ‘feedback’ levels of warming (24 degrees C) are 100% attributed to ‘green house gas’ heating (8 C) by (fake) science. He says, “No, at least some of the feedback is attributable to the sun!” With very charitable figures that modelling gives about 1 to 1.5 C of heating per doubling of green house gases. A totally acceptable figure….

      That is just one subject for debate.

      We should be good with ecology. But, forcing change from bad science will often lead to a bad change. The ‘Tesla’ revolution is free market lead, although it does exploit this very political area. In the US they call it the ‘coal powered car.’ Due to file used for much electricity. There is another debate.

      Moving the pollution from a city to a power station is probably desirable. But, proper debate is still needed. Frankly, I do not trust the H of C to have proper debates, these days. So, quite how you cope with that problem, I don’t know…

    12. Richard
      October 15, 2019

      Recently more than 500 scientists and professionals in climate and related fields have sent a declaration that there is no “climate emergency” to the UN, warning that there is no “climate emergency” & “the general-circulation models of climate on which international policy is at present founded are unfit for their purpose”.

      This petition in July 2019 by 90 Italian scientists is well worth reading:

      Very many scientists believe MMGW is neither significant nor harmful:

    13. Kathy Penney
      October 15, 2019

      I can only agree with you, Pominoz.

    14. Richard
      October 15, 2019

      “A Dearth of Carbon” on youtube by Greenpeace co-founder Dr Patrick Moore describes how sea life exoskeletons turned the CO2 7,000 ppm at the time of the Cambrian explosion circa 542Mya into huge amounts of carbonate rock (eg Chalk cliffs, Limestone massifs) far faster than volcanoes could return it to the atmosphere. Many geologists agree, eg

      ~180ppm was reached in the recent Ice Age cold period: “The Ice Age’s combined horrors – intense cold, permanent drought and CO2 starvation – killed most of the plants on Earth. Only a few trees survived” ~150ppm is said to be the ‘death of plants’ level, with just lichens below that.

      1. Richard
        October 15, 2019

        * C3 plants cannot photosynthesise under 150 ppm, while C4 plants (grasses) still can.

    15. Lester Beedell
      October 15, 2019

      A great deal of nonsense is being produced without any evidence to back it up
      Apparently the Antarctic is sheet is larger than at any time for many years, not being widely mentioned !

      The changes being made on the back of very doubtful science will result in a return to the Middle Ages!

  2. Ian Wragg
    October 15, 2019

    Driven by big business and rapacious government.
    Follow the money to see who is driving this nonesense
    No doubt Germany will produce the rules for us all to follow thus protecting their manufacturers.
    Evolution, not revolution.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 15, 2019

      Exactly dangerous, virtue signalling, carbon and job exporting lunacy that will kill a lot of people in the process! Not that they will actually do it as it is totally impractical.

    2. Alan Jutson
      October 15, 2019


      Agreed “evolution not revolution”

      When you look at cars, aeroplanes, household equipment, the huge gains made in efficiency and reliability by engineers over the last 50 years, it has been staggering.

      Research and development for anything new to market can take very many years, much improvement will already be in the pipeline, to throw all that away and start again from scratch without a proven scientific study is just plain daft.

      By all means introduce lower and lower targets with SENSIBLE regulation, but allow goods/vehicles/equipment to still be used until they have completed a full life cycle or are no longer repairable, or scrapped.

      Often wondered in this current madness why the government does not simply ban ( with plenty of advance notification) the use of all plastics which cannot be sensibly recycled.

    3. TooleyStu
      October 15, 2019

      Correct. (Enviro is the new communism.)
      The ‘global warming’ has become climate change, as we are not warming, but in a cooling period. It is a cycle. A sun driven cycle.
      The Ext Reb is basically a con. It is a death cult.
      Plants NEED co2, they thrive on it. Greenhouse growers put co2 machines in to make their plants grow better.
      Answer : Plant more trees, about 1.2 trillion.
      Check out Piers Corbyn (Jeremy’s bro).. he has been speaking (silenced) about this scam for years.
      Tooley Stu.

    4. Richard
      October 15, 2019

      Carbon credits, created out of thin air and sold to industry like papal indulgences will be a huge tax on both western industry & consumers.

      China, India, & many other developing countries are ignoring this new mad expensive western religion:
      China smiles politely recalling Sun Tzu: “Never Interrupt Your Adversary When He Is Making A Mistake”.
      And so much of western manufacturing industry relocates to eg Asia.

  3. Martyn G
    October 15, 2019

    Regardless of the time period taken to reach those targets, it is very likely that a significant percentage of householders will not be able to afford the changes needed. Where will the money come from to enable them to do so? Oh, of course – the tax payers…

    1. Andy
      October 15, 2019

      If we don’t make those changes then there will be huge impacts – hundreds of millions of climate change refugees, swathes of the planet uninhabitable, towns and cities – including some of ours – underwater.

      And if that happens guess who will pick up the bill? Taxpayers. And it will be a much bigger bill than trying to mitigate the worst of it.

      1. Edward2
        October 15, 2019

        Why will hundreds of millions move?
        The actual rise in temperature since 1850 has been approx 1.3 degrees measured globally.
        The IPCC report which, as you keep telling us, includes the vast majority of scientists say there will be some further rises and some further sea level rises over the next few decades, but nowhere near the levels claimed by ER doomsayers.
        So are you denying the UN IPCC experts now Andy?

      2. cynic
        October 15, 2019

        go back to sleep!

  4. Dominic
    October 15, 2019

    I couldn’t give a toss what a German think-tank reports says or doesn’t say. What we are seeing is a sinister political propaganda campaign using the earth’s changing climate as the currency for inciting fear, sympathy and imposing control over our lives

    A decade ago this issue was an irrelevance. Today, we are subjected to young children being paraded across our screens spouting nonsense fed to them by western politicians and academics. It is PATHETIC to watch and witness.

    Stop exposing us to PROPAGANDA. We are tired of it

    1. Lifelogic
      October 15, 2019

      Exactly and the dire BBC to the fore with this endless climate alarmist propaganda.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        October 15, 2019

        Are you, by any chance, a so-called “petrolhead”, with no children?

        1. Lifelogic
          October 15, 2019

          Not at all three children but a climate realist.

    2. Chris Dark
      October 15, 2019

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. I certainly couldn’t afford the costs of ripping my Victorian house apart just to fit the latest wheezes for “saving the planet”. Politicians also forget that folk mostly have to continue to live in their homes while such work is done; I’ve been there several times in life and the chaos is a nightmare…we don’t all have bolt-holes in the Canaries to scuttle off to. Let the Germans get on with it, if they’re that dim.

    3. margaret howard
      October 15, 2019



    4. rose
      October 15, 2019

      And didn’t Citizens Assemblies use to be called “Soviets”?

      First a Government of all the Traitors and then that.

  5. David Hares
    October 15, 2019

    Would the same time-table as this German study be sensible? It would not be unrealistic as is too often the case with big ‘projects’. It would be the matching/partnering of two big European economies on a necessary task that was reaching out beyond the issues relating to our departure from the EU.

    1. NickC
      October 15, 2019

      David Hares, You have not shown that the task is “necessary”.

  6. Lifelogic
    October 15, 2019

    “The petrol companies have to move from a big chain of filling stations to a big chain of electric chargers”.

    Well this will just increase carbon output unless all the electricity comes from nuclear the only realistic lowish carbon option! No point at all in doing any of the above until you have this nuclear capacity in place!

    If the average charge takes say 3 hours compared to 3 minutes for petrol/diesel then you will need 60 times more charging places than petrol pumps! Plus the distribution and generating capacity.

    “The airlines have to buy a new generation of jets that burn alternative fuels”

    What alternative fuel are there that will be as safe as currently hydrogen or some artificially manufactured fossil replacement fuel? Battery ones are totally impractical with current batteries (range anxiety in planes is rather worse than in cars I find).

    It is a mad agenda drivel by virtue signalling green loons rather than engineers to address essentially a non problems. Yet nearly all MP (almost non with any knowledge or physics or engineering) voted for the insane climate change act.

    So many better ways to spend this money – How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place by Bjørn Lombord for some good examples.

    1. Alan Jutson
      October 15, 2019


      “if the average charge…………….”

      Indeed how long does it take to design and build a new power station ?

      How long for the Government to make a decision to build, when and where?

      Is this project fear raising its ugly head again, or do we have some PROVEN Science agreed by the majority of a real problem, with a real solution ?

    2. Bob
      October 15, 2019

      Uniquely among UK political leaders, UKIP’s Richard Braine has a physics degree and is the only political party leader who will tell the truth about the AGW scam. That’s why the MSM avoid him.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 15, 2019

        Indeed only a rphandful of MPs did not vote for the dire and insane climate change act.

    3. sm
      October 15, 2019

      Do you remember Pedalo boats? Surely some bright Greta-enthusiast could adapt the basic concept to power planes? I’m sure the virtue-signallers would happily pedal their way from Los Angeles to Heathrow and back while patting themselves on the back.

    4. MG
      October 15, 2019

      Well said.

    5. agricola
      October 15, 2019

      On charge time consider this. Standardised batteries, assume four sizes. Automated change over stations replacing petrol stations. Drive in like you do a car wash, low battery automatically removed, new battery fitted, drive on your way. Time taken no more than a fuel refill. Far greater technology is utilised in auto pick warehouses and production lines.

      First we need batteries that at motorway speed give a guaranteed range of 500 miles. Until then encourage the further development of diesel and petrol engines or consider a switch to hydrogen as a fuel which also demands further input from science and engineering.

      1. Alan Jutson
        October 15, 2019


        That all sounds great until you find the battery in your new car is taken out, and replaced/exchanged with one that is nearly knackered, and holds just 25% of its normal charge.

        Who pays to replace the batteries that eventually fail or are found to be dud in theses service stations.

        I would be a bit hacked off if having purchased a new car I was asked to stump up again for a replacement battery because the swap to an old one failed, but of course delighted if I managed to get a nearly new one for an old car.

    6. Peter from Leeds
      October 15, 2019

      Dear Lifelogic,

      The use of electric cars requires a different mindset. Most of the time our cars are sitting doing nothing – with electric cars that time can easily be used for charging (in the garage, on the street or in the car park). New electric cars have much more capacity and if you are on a long journey you would probably want a longer break anyway. I have read some interesting articles by people who have tried using electric cars as an experiment and they all seem very positive (though more expensive to buy the running costs are a fraction of HC fuel cars).

      For aircraft fuel carbon dioxide capture together with photovoltaic and hydrolysis to produce synthetic hydrocarbon liquid fuel is being developed.

      Because of the energy density of HC fuel versus batteries it is unlikely long haul will be possible with electric – but commercial electric planes are being developed. A prototype 650 mile range 9 passenger electric plane is currently planned for commercial launch in 2022. Early days.

      Having seen clean air zones, the banning of lead on petrol, the panic of acid rain being solved, the cause of the ozone layer hole being identified and even the smoking ban at work introduced within my lifetime I feel confident that we can respond to real man made environmental problems.

      But demonstrations in London have had mixed success. CND marches and Stop the War marches are just 2 that spring to mind. London does seem to be a magnet for demonstrations.

      PS I am an engineer (retired) and welcome new engineering challenges. Generally the truth lies between the extreme predictions of extinction or the “we cannot possibly change” often driven by existing vested interests.

    7. stred
      October 15, 2019

      Believe it or not, the CCC recommend that planes will still fly using the same fuel but the UK will make enough biofuels and burn them for electricity generation and capture the same amount of CO2, which will then be buried in old gas fields. It’s called BECCS and will require enormous land for the crops and cost a fortune.

  7. Sea Warrior
    October 15, 2019

    Germany: the country that decided to eschew nuclear power in favour of more lignite burning. Hmmm!
    The government’s adoption of the ‘Net Zero’ target was rushed and needs to be reviewed – by both government and Parliament. I’m comfortable with the idea of caring for our planet, and science-based decision making, but I’m not comfortable with policy being made up on the back of a fag-packet. And I want Extinction Rebellion driven – bad choice of words – from our streets, so that the law-abiding can go about their business.

  8. Lifelogic
    October 15, 2019

    As Germany is going non nuclear they simply cannot do it anyway! Where will the low carbon energy for all these electric cars, artificial fuel for planes and the electric heating come from? They cannot get more than a tiny percentage of it from wind, solar, hydro, tidal and wave that is certain.

    Can they not find a sensible engineer to explain the laws of physics and energy engineering reality to them?

    1. Lifelogic
      October 15, 2019

      “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” as Richard Feynman said after the Challenger exploded killing seven.

      Alas it seen high priests of the climate alarmist religion, MPs with no understanding of science and other vested interest (on the make) are in control. Vested interests who employ lobbyists and even some politicians as “consultants”. Consulting on how to divert tax payers money into their private pockets one assumes.

  9. Ian Wilson
    October 15, 2019

    All this colossal cost is to counter the wholly unproven claim that CO2 is a major influence on climate. Last month 500 professional qualified scientists wrote to the UN that there is no climate emergency and that most if not all climate change is natural (ref Clintel)

    If the government had heeded these and previous scientists’ statements about the absence of any link between CO2 and warming, then issued a robust riposte to the hysteria over climate change, we would probably not be facing streets blocked by eco-loons and huge policing costs. By ministers regurgitating climate hysteria the eco-loons feel their cause is justified and enjoy massive recruiting success.

  10. Peter R
    October 15, 2019

    Meanwhile China, India and Africa will be doing ……. what?

  11. Iain Gill
    October 15, 2019

    I think we should simply have a policy of being in the bottom quartile of pollutants per industrial or consumer process. I don’t think we should aim to be the very least polluting per process, as it’s too expensive, will shut a lot of our business down, and will force use of brand new unreliable technology constantly.

    But we need to tax imports from higher pollution countries so that the UK workforce has a more level playing field. Being undercut by countries using cheaper less good anti pollution technology does not help net world pollution.

  12. Tom Rogers
    October 15, 2019

    Regardless of whether the anthropomorphic climate change thesis is true (or the extent to which it is true), environmental sustainability does make sense from the point-of-view of economy and livability. We could make a start by recognising the interconnectedness of domestic policy issues, end immigration for good and tell businesses to instead invest in our own people and innovate technologically.

    We should also encourage other states to end unnecessary human migration. Instead, Third World countries should focus on solving their domestic problems, using their own money and ingenuity to the extent they have it. That would be a sustainable sociological solution and it would help the environment and carbon reduction.

    Regarding carbon minimisation, many supposed low or minimal carbon solutions being put forward in fact use non-renewable resources and, when properly considered, are not significantly more sustainable than the alternative. Renewable energy also raises questions of economic viability on technical grounds. Rather than set top-down targets and rely on coercion, we should let the market continue to find environmentally-sustainable products and services that work commercially.

  13. Mike Stallard
    October 15, 2019

    Sir John, like you, I read History at Cambridge. I know that climate changes from time to time – the 12th century, the little ice age , Roman warm period etc.
    Allow me to ask
    Is the climate changing because of us human beings being greedy?
    Is the climate changing because that is what climates do?
    Is the climate changing at all and how fast?
    (I myself can remember when King Coal still ruled and black grease was all over my ankles no matter how hard you scrubbed. The buildings were all black with grease too.)

  14. Mark B
    October 15, 2019

    Good morning.

    And what of China, India, Brazil and many, many other developing countries ? Will they too be abandoning fossil fuels and bringing down their CO2 ? Because if they do not, and there is less competition for resources, then they will have access to cheaper raw materials and energy whilst we freeze and go hungry.

    How does managing a modern economy fit in with all this ? I heard on the radio recently an Extinction Rebellion extremist say, in rather bland terms, that we will have to de-industrialise. No mention of where the factories would relocate too, or what would become of the people whose jobs have been shipped elsewhere.

    We do indeed need costing of this and government to publish what it will cost each and every one of us. The impact of such proposals on things such as social mobility.

    We also need to be honest as to where this is all coming from and the final aim ? Is it part of the UN Agenda 21 ?

    Never before has it been more important to get control of those who make our laws. Losing control is becoming more and more serious by the day.

  15. Richard1
    October 15, 2019

    It would be interesting to look at the assumptions. Absent some dramatic new technological breakthrough no amount of money will deliver net zero carbon by 2050 or any other date. The only remotely credible alternative to fossil fuels with any chance of producing energy in the amounts required is nuclear. Wind solar tidal etc may increase, but almost certainly aways require subsidies of one sort or another except in exceptional circs (solar in deserts etc). But based on current technology they have no chance to replace fossil fuels. The IEA projects fossil fuels to continue to account for over 80% of global energy production for the coming decades.

    More sensible would be a major adoption of shale gas fracking. Not zero carbon, but 1/2 – 2/3 the emissions of coal & oil. And in abundance in the UK.

    Time for some realism based on fact from politicians (including the current govt)

  16. Roy Grainger
    October 15, 2019

    Do you think Germany will spend all this money making themselves net zero carbon without requiring all other EU countries to do the same on the basis of “level playing field” conditions ? They won’t allow other EU countries to make themselves more competitive by not imposing these massive costs on their own industries. So, Ireland, Greece, Italy, better get working on it.

    1. Paul
      October 15, 2019

      More likely make it an EU-wide target and allow themselves a target that is effectively a net-off against other EU areas to limit the impact to them or they can shift the blame when the EU-wide target is missed.

  17. Martin in Cardiff
    October 15, 2019

    Good morning John.

    The meaning of the word “cost” on the large scale becomes different from the familiar.

    For instance, when motorised transport was first being introduced, one could have estimated the “cost” of providing most families in the country with cars over their lifetimes, and it would have been enormous.

    People don’t see what becomes a large part of the economy, offering jobs and growth, in those terms, and so it will be with the new technologies, upon which we will depend to go about our lives in more sustainable ways.

    Your political group are making yet another serious error in trying to politicise such measures to use divisively for your ambitions, I think.

    1. Edward2
      October 16, 2019

      That is a poor comparison.
      Cars were a new product that people could buy if they wanted.
      Provided by private companies at their risk.
      No one was forced to buy a car.
      Yet the ER extremists want to ban numerous things and want the government to divert many billions to subsidise their demands.

  18. Shirley
    October 15, 2019

    I’ve done quite a bit of research from both the climate doom merchants and their opposites. CO2 is not the problem. I support cutting pollution, and damage to the environment, but cutting CO2 will eventually cause the death of the planet. Do they really want to destroy plant life, and therefore every living thing that relies upon it?

    Climate change is being used as a very good excuse to impose world control via a world government!

    1. Sharon Jagger
      October 15, 2019


      I too have been doing some research into global warming. We are in fact entering a period of global cooling.

      And I agree with your statement, “ Climate change is being used as a very good excuse to impose world control via a world government!”

    2. Chris
      October 15, 2019

      I think you are right, Shirley. I believe the global warming agenda is a big scam which is generating trillions for those controlling this agenda. The UN Agenda 2030 is a wakeup call to the sort of highly controlled and miserable existence we can look forward to, all in the name of sustainability, if the powers that be get their way. I am all for being careful with resources and the environment, but the World Government agenda is something very different.
      It is about power, wealth and control being concentrated in the hands of a global elite, apparently using flawed science to justify it.

    3. ian terry
      October 15, 2019


      Climate change is being used as a very good excuse to impose world control via a world government!

      AKA. Agenda 21

  19. J Bush
    October 15, 2019

    I am somewhat at a loss to understand why Germany has opened a good number of mines to extract brown coal then?

    Either they are being disingenuous, get all the other EU countries economies to go zero and down the toilet so Germany are the undisputed ‘top dog’, or their brown coal mining has been nothing more than what the Russian ‘tractor production’ was.

    I am inclined to go with the former, given Merkel’s invitation to the 3rd world and then demanded every other EU country must accept them.

    1. Mockbeggar
      October 15, 2019

      If I remember correctly, after the Japanese nuclear power station was flooded by a tsunami, Mrs Merkel immediately ordered the closure of all German nuclear stations (because, I suppose, they are expecting a lot of tsunamis in Germany).

      So now they buy a lot of electricity off the French (nuclear) generating industry.

    2. Fred H
      October 15, 2019

      Germany is very happily importing massive energy from Russia as their manufacturing strength can sell on to the slaves in the EU – their customers guaranteed. Brilliant – export the problem of finding energy to Russia.

  20. Edward2
    October 15, 2019

    1982, the UN had announced a two-decade tipping point for action on environmental issues. Mostafa Tolba, executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), warned on May 11, 1982, that the “world faces an ecological disaster as final as nuclear war within a couple of decades unless governments act now.”

    This is one of many doomsday predictions made by the religion.
    Today’s extremists have just moved the date and increased the level of hyperbole.

  21. Dominic
    October 15, 2019

    The western political class is now beyond control. The further democracy is away from the people the more difficult it will be to control the actions of this political virus that’s now been expanding its reach for a couple of decades

    Climate change is simply another issue that’s been weaponised and politicised to achieve control

    If you want change, stop voting Tory, Labour and Lib-Dem

  22. Robert McDonald
    October 15, 2019

    All the science being bandied about to justify scare mongering about climate change is missing one key solution to the problem, and that has to be recognised as being reduction in our world population. Over use of resources is significantly down to too many people. There has to be pressure to reduce family size world wide. Don’t ask me how that is done, but a complete change to non fossil fuels, if indeed possible, will not solve the underlying issue.

  23. Wil Pretty
    October 15, 2019

    All to eliminate CO2 creation!
    When we die our bodies are converted to CO2, either slowly by burial or rapidly by cremation. That CO2 is the food needed by plants to grow, they then are the food for the next generation of animals ( us included). This is earths carbon recycling process. The more CO2, the more life the planet can sustain.

    1. miami.mode
      October 15, 2019

      WP, how ironic that Extinction are appropriately named.

      1. Wil Pretty
        October 16, 2019

        MM, Well put.

        Some say that increased CO2 will cause temperatures to rise a bit. I think they are exagerating the impact that would have.
        I have visited London, the temperature there is 2C higher than where I live.
        I have visited Scotland, the temperature there is several degrees lower than where I live.
        The inhabitants of those places seem to cope.

  24. Oliver
    October 15, 2019

    Presumably the EU will impose

    [a] the target and
    [b] whatever methods it suits the Germans to use to meet it?

  25. Peter Miller
    October 15, 2019

    England, not the rest of the UK, is underlain by huge amounts of oil and gas bearing shales.

    This has the potential to totally transform our economy, as happened in the USA. Instead a Conservative government placed ridiculously restrictive regulations on fracking, making this potential economic bonanza an impossibility.

    Bowing to the ecolunacy of zero net emission targets, like Germany, is utterly pointless and will make us all a lot poorer.

    1. Mockbeggar
      October 15, 2019

      And to a highly effective anti-fracking campaign by the unscientific Project Fear activists including, I’m sorry to say, the CPRE.

      I do wonder how effective their campaign would have been if the companies that undertook shale fracturing had come up with a name that didn’t have such an unfortunate near connotation to another universal activity.

  26. Alec
    October 15, 2019

    This is a ridiculous fantasy that has absolutely no chance of being attainable. The vast investment in wind turbines has been a disaster. Each turbine requiring far more input of energy (meaning oil and coal) than it will ever produce all the while requiring expensive gas generators to back it up every time the wind drops and killing wildlife on an industrial scale. Electric cars are an outright fraud, again requiring more hydrocarbons to build and maintain than petrol or diesel cars. Rebuilding every single home in Germany would need huge increases in materials and energy which can only come from oil, coal and gas. This is the most stupid fraud made possible only by political and voter ignorance of basic physics. Being carbon neutral for creatures based on carbon that breathe CO2 out in every breath is not possible or neccessary. We need more CO2 not less.

  27. John S
    October 15, 2019

    Anyone believing that our puny efforts will make a scrap of difference to the climate is deluded.

    1. Dennis
      October 16, 2019

      John S – well our puny efforts have apparently filled up all the oceans with plastic.

  28. David J
    October 15, 2019

    The green agenda taken to a misinformed level. The comparatively clean Europeans are not the main problem. The Green team can get excited about this, and business will happily make new stuff (more pollution?). But just look at China- then cry, Tackle that first.
    We will happily save the world by using paper straws….

    1. Mockbeggar
      October 15, 2019

      Don’t forget that because UK heavy industry is charged so highly, we have exported most of our heavy CO2 producing industry to China where the level of CO2 production is much higher per unit of output.

      Our host has pointed this out many times.

  29. Kevin
    October 15, 2019

    There need to be plenty of closures of hydrocarbon based ways
    of working, living and travelling.
    Could you provide some reasons why? It
    may not be as “clear” as you say. Parliament has a paralysing fear that Brexit
    means more paperwork at the ports. We’re assured this is unfounded, from what
    you have said on this. Why is this more momentous change a real necessity?

  30. David Cooper
    October 15, 2019

    As Jacob Rees-Mogg once observed, “politics should not be about making people’s lives difficult”. Capitulation of this kind to the green agenda – based, incidentally, not on a clear and specific electoral mandate but on “we know best, you just do what you’re told” – would make people’s lives very difficult indeed.

  31. GilesB
    October 15, 2019

    GDP per capita improves by about 50% per generation.

    My parents made more than enough sacrifice, including reduced standard of living, for the benefit of future generations. I am glad their generation’s investments built our motorways, and the internet, maintained water supplies, school and hospitals. Could more have been spent then? Yes of course. Buy why should they have had an even lower standard of living?

    Similarly now. We need to maintain all existing infrastructure, and replace truly obsolete equipment at the end of its life. We also need investment for the next big advances, say space travel, biotech , whatever it is. That’s enough. No reason why we should reduce even further our standard of living for the benefit of the next generation, particularly on potentially totally unnecessary socialist project to control all of our lives

  32. Everhopeful
    October 15, 2019

    As far as I understand it Extinction Rebellion is actually about big business. Although maybe the useful followers do not entirely realise this.
    The followers of ER are basically asking for global governance and the global governors are corporatists.
    Much like the EU expanded globally, industry of all types under this system would dictate politics.
    Thus when told your gas boiler/wood burner/car is polluting you BUY ANOTHER “ UPDATED”ONE.
    xxxx or somesuch manufacturer learned very early on that if products are well built they last and people do not replace them frequently. Hence built in obsolescence. Rust within two weeks.
    It is all a scam and they just want our money, bones and blood
    At this point they have taken everything else.

  33. The Prangwizard
    October 15, 2019

    These plans shouldn’t be given house room. It’s insanity.

  34. NickC
    October 15, 2019

    Nothing is free; and every action has consequences. Whether those outcomes are quite what their promoters anticipate is another matter entirely. CAGW believers have a woeful track record: “we have less than 100 months to save the planet”, or “my new seaside villa will be under water in 15 years time” – insert your own timespan. None of which have come true.

    So why do politicians believe in CAGW? Especially since the scientific consensus appears more in line with AGW than CAGW? There is nothing magic about the global temperature of 1850. Why do politicians believe there is? Indeed, if temperatures continue to rise as they may have done in the past 150 years, the optimum global temperature might not be reached until 2035.

    One of the many failings of humanity is we extrapolate linearly – we habitually assume that things will carry on as before. They don’t. We may be headed for an ice age, rather than a bit of beneficial warming.

  35. Roger W Carradice
    October 15, 2019

    Sir John
    This nonsense will kill billions, not then the non problem of climate change with Extinction Rebellions mad solutions.

  36. Denis Cooper
    October 15, 2019

    Off topic but highly topical, this article is well worth reading:

    It purports to explain how Ireland has a massive vested interest in keeping the UK locked into EU economic structures:

    “… Ireland’s model works to the detriment of the UK’s and others’ exchequers, and this detriment is one of the significant hidden costs of UK membership of the EU, its Customs Union and Single Market.

    So great is the scale of the operation that we estimate that €130bn or 40% of Irish GDP can be accounted for by ‘flag of convenience’ activity.

    Once it becomes apparent how significant these distortions are, it is clear why Ireland needs the UK to be fully aligned to its economy … ”

    It’s a pity that the potential damage to the Irish economy from the UK defaulting to the WTO treaties has not received the emphasis it deserves, with the likes of George Osborne and Philip Hammond preferring to use defective models to deliberately exaggerate the cost to the UK of leaving the EU – with or without a deal – while deliberately minimising the potential benefits of the UK being able to determine its own trade policy:

    “A short primer for Philip Hammond on the benefits of free trade deals”

    From Iain Duncan Smith.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 15, 2019

      The lies were repeated by David Gauke in the Evening Standard:

      “David Gauke: Don’t smile too soon — even with a deal, Brexit could be a bad trade-off”

      “For each £1 gained by the UK economy from entering into FTAs with third countries we will see a loss of up to £33”

      “… even if we agreed FTAs with every major potential partner, the upside to our economy would be just 0.2 to 0.6 per cent of GDP according to government analysis published in November.

      However, the cost of prioritising being able to enter into our own FTAs is very high. The same government analysis suggests that entering into a Canada-style FTA with the EU, which preserves the ability to enter into FTAs with third countries, also increases trade friction with the EU. This will reduce our GDP by up to 6.7 per cent. In other words, for every pound gained to the UK economy by being able to enter into FTAs with third countries we will see a loss of up to £33. This works out as making us £2,250 per head poorer.”

      Why does the government not rebut these falsehoods?

  37. John Bucknall
    October 15, 2019

    A “reductio ad absurdum”.

    Meanwhile the three largest emitters of CO2 (China, India & USA) carry on totally unconstrained by the Paris Agreement.

  38. Andy
    October 15, 2019

    All entirely sensible ideas. These are changes we have to make – no matter how much you all kick and scream about them. It is entirely possible and, indeed desirable, to massively reduce and even eliminate our carbon footprints.

    How? Well let’s start by using Mr Redwood’s favourite Brexit advantage – VAT. As well as scrapping it on tampons we scrap it on solar panels, heat pumps, triple glazing, electric cars etc.

    We can use Brexit related shortages to ration food. You all need to eat less meat. Brexit is a perfect opportunity to force you. Naturally I’ve been a vegetarian for 25 years so it won’t affect me.

    None of these changes will be easy. But we have the Dunkirk spirit – apparently. I am sure you will all do your bit.

    1. steve
      October 15, 2019


      It’s pointless you cranking on about brexit, it’s dead. Replaced by May v2.0 BRINO.

      You will have to wait until after the next general election when Mr Farage delivers it.

    2. Mike
      October 16, 2019

      Vegi meals seem to have effected your brain, we cannot survive with out CO2 and meat gives us vital minerals , sorry just keep your loony lunches

  39. agricola
    October 15, 2019

    Climate change is a natural phenomena. It is a process that has been around since the Earth began. Alleviate its’ effect where possible, but do not delude yourselves into thinking you can halt or reverse the process.

    The environment, a different subject, is largely down to man, so by all means make the World a cleaner, better, and healthier place to live. Think of what financially this could save the NHS were it tackled. However do it based on engineering and science, not on the strident voices of pubescent girls and equally ignorant but ambitious politicians intent on giving themselves a cause. Extinction rebellion I find a total affront. They disrupt the lives of the productive, who through tax are expected to pay for their nonsense. While they, seemingly free of this basic burden, arrogantly assume the right to do so. If they can be cleared from our streets for the opening of Parliament why not permanently. The right to demonstrate has got completely out of control. I assume that the premiss is that creating anarchy opens the door to any form of minority group thinking. This of course has been encouraged by the questionable activities of the likes of Benn, Grieve, Soubry and our Speaker who cannot see beyond their own selfish needs in defiance of the majority. Put simply, government needs to get a grip.

  40. Leslie Singleton
    October 15, 2019

    Dear Sir John–If we are to spend the trillions that you mention, and that just for Germany, it seems to me that for that sort of money it should be possible to come up with methods to scrub not just the atmosphere but also the seas (saving the dissolving lobster shells) of the offending carbon dioxide. The task would be large but simple. Personally I like open fires and wood burning stoves. Anything that doesn’t need an App or something “smart” is fine with me.

  41. Bryan Harris
    October 15, 2019

    Why can’t we all see that those behind preventing Brexit are also pushing the non-scientific Climate Change upon us – So shouldn’t that alert us to the irrationality they are imposing on us?
    The establishment / civil service are aligned with the EU and the UN, and we all know the UN has it’s own agenda.
    Nowhere is there any logic to resolving this alleged problem. Why aren’t things like boilers, cars, house made to last. Why aren’t they built so that they have to be recycled in a very few years, Boiler, for example used to last 10 years + now it’s only 5 years. Cars are not something you can pass onto a family member, and houses are getting that way.
    To achieve zero carbon the cost to consumers will be astronomical, bearing in mind that most of us have had no income rise for more than 10 years while Parliament allows utilities, insurance companies, councils to annually put up our costs excessively. We are already squeezed beyond endurance.
    You ask What timetable would be acceptable – I say There should be no timetable for such insanity! (/b>

    (JR – Apologies for darkening your door once again and causing you extra work, but there are some things that cannot be ignored.)

  42. Alison
    October 15, 2019

    1) Much much greater use of hydrogen. Zero emission. And no nuclear waste.
    2) Every home should have solar panels. I believe a UK company has made a break-through in battery technology, so our homes should be able to store the energy produced for longer.

    2) People must change their thinking, stop assuming that they can jump on a plane any time. We must stop being a throw-away society, consume less. Whether or not climate change is scientifically based, it is undeniable that we produce far too much waste, which some people seem to think it is ok to dump on other countries.
    3) All this stuff about electric cars, but the electricity has to come from somewhere. Nuclear power stations produce waste which lasts hundreds of years.
    Lastly, can we please stop handing major power contracts to foreign firms (especially those who have benefited from government subsidies to which the EU turned a blind eye)

  43. IanT
    October 15, 2019

    By all means cut waste and improve efficiency – but let’s do it by evolution rather than revolution. Old cars can be replaced by better ones when their useful lives are over – not at some arbitrary near-term date. Better, more efficient homes can be built to replace older (colder) ones – including more single storey homes for our aging population. We should improve & extend our rail network (never mind high speed) to move more freight off the roads and onto (electrified) lines. There is much that can be done without going back to the stone age or wrecking our economy…

    The ER people can run around shouting “Panic & Don’t Keep Calm” but it won’t change the fact that the UK’s total power generation is about 85Gw (all forms including renewables) and China is on course to have over 1,250Gw of coal fired generation.

    So by all means move towards energy efficiency but let’s put our main effort into coping with any potential climate change – such as flood management (e.g. stop building on flood plains) and water use & storage (e.g. over use of aquifers). This would be sensible house-keeping and make much more sense than any amount of carbon credit or off-setting. A smelting plant closed in Anglesey and moved to India generates just as much CO2 but also removes work from an area in UK that badly needs it.

    Making sensible changes to avoid waste and preparing for increased weather variations I can understand. Running around claiming ‘The End of the World is Nigh’ is not only unhelpful but rather pointless given that the UK generates 1.2% of global man-made carbon emissions (which in itself is just 3% of total atmospheric carbon dioxide) and that the two largest generators of mm carbon dioxide (US & China) produce over 50% between them.

  44. alastair harris
    October 15, 2019

    There seems to be a big underlying assumption that electric cars are the answer, but that is surely a big gamble on several technologies, and ignores the probability that other technologies might actually “win”.
    The other big assumption is that these costs are manageable, but without doubt they aren’t.
    And that is before you get near questioning the likelihood that the doom mongers are right!

  45. simon
    October 15, 2019

    If we look at hydrogen driven transport as the ultimate progression, from hydrocarbon to electric to hydrogen/electric then the petrol/energy companies can use their existing network to supply hydrogen to vehicles, the charging/filling time becomes the same as for a petrol/diesel powered vehicle today. The massive batteries currently used become redundant and replaced by fuel cells. The key factor becomes electricity used to either power electric vehicles or generate hydrogen. It is unlikely that renewables will be able to provide all the requirement and that therefore the only non carbon emitting source of electricity – nuclear – will have to be used. Sufficient electricity generated by nuclear could also provide most of the domestic and industrial power requirement.
    In failing to address the question and solve the problems of nuclear power, our politicians are on top of the same cliff as the XR lemmings.

  46. Christine
    October 15, 2019

    Our country produces so little of the world’s pollution that even if you got it down to zero it would make no difference. Governments should be tackling the elephant in the room, which is population growth, but we know they won’t. The world population is forecast to reach 8 billion in two years (see Countries like Nigeria have added over four million to their population already this year. Even though western countries are controlling their populations the third world is growing and putting a huge strain on migration. Unfortunately we are governed by a bunch of virtue signalling fools with even more waiting in the wings to get elected.

  47. Ian @Barkham
    October 15, 2019

    Good morning Sir John

    You have picked up on the usual Politicians sound-bite, a ‘big chain of electric chargers’, which is so off base and unrealistic, it undermines the real need of a carbon neutral future.

    In the last week or so both the German Car manufacturers and the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) are pointing out to their respective governments that battery powered cars are a ‘redundant’ (their words) technolagy. They also go on to say, the on going additional costs of battery vehicals makes them a poor purchase, as such they are a waste of money. That is car manufacturers saying they are a waste of money! The 2nd hand value is basicaly zilch, after only a few short years.

    So why is taxpayer money being wasted in subsidizing them?

    They advocate as do most forward thinking experts that the focus should be on hydrogen fuel cells. Therefore, there is a need for more hydrogen filling stations, not battery charging points.

    It is also theoretically possible that the move to hydrogen would also solve the move from gas boilers, in that existing boilers can be adapted.

    Given that there isn’t enough known sources of nickel (required in all battery configuration) in the World to serve the needs of the UK’s asperations. How is battery powered cars going to happen – given the rest of the worlds governments are spouting the same rubbish.

    Politician’s have fallen into the trap of ‘me-too’ sound bites as they know longer have the capacity of thought and common sense.

  48. Pat
    October 15, 2019

    The first step should be to double check the science. Do all the papers supporting global warming theory replicate? Does Prof. Mann’s data support his findings? Does the CCU data support theirs? Do the various models used in forecasting agree with observed weather? Are the adjustments made to temperature observations warranted?
    Given the vast costs involved, and the reduced standard of living that is likely to result we cannot simply trust people who may have an agenda.
    We also need to ensure that China and India follow a similar path, else we will impoverish ourselves for nothing.

  49. Alan Joyce
    October 15, 2019

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    It is impossible for the average man in the street to know whether rapid climate change (glaciers only 2/3rds in size, etc.) is man-made or not – even if he avails himself of all the scientific information. I doubt if any climatologists can give a definitive answer – there are too many variables. It does seem to be rather a leap of faith. One either believes in it or not.

    Having said that, we all want to live in a cleaner, greener world and so, it might make sense to take precautions just in case we are damaging the very environment that sustains us.

    Is it too simplistic to say that the cost for the UK would be about 2/3rds that of Germany’s being as our GDP is about 2/3rds, i.e. over Euro 5trillion? And as we are leaving the EU in two weeks time, about GBPounds 4.3 trillion!

    As for a timetable, advanced economies should do this together so some do not gain a competitive advantage by delaying adaptation. However, I doubt such altruistic attitudes will prevail unless the science becomes irrefutable and/or half the coastal cities of the world are submerged overnight. One could ask what is the point of one country going green if its neighbour is still a big consumer of fossil fuels? 2050 looks very optimistic. It took well over 100 years for the motor car to be invented and go electric. But the rate of change is accelerating.

    Individuals will pay for home improvements and new transport as they do now – when old technology comes to the end of its life and/or new affordable replacements are available.

    If climate change really is happening, I think we may be behind the curve. Some people think we may be better off limiting and adapting to the effects of climate change rather than seeking to reverse it.

  50. Lifelogic
    October 15, 2019

Grant In the Telegraph today.

    Brussels fears an ultra-competitive Britain
    Remainers like to think of the UK as a non-entity, but it is Europe that is the over-regulated backwater Brussels fears an ultra-competitive Britain.

    Indeed, but it seems most Conservative MPs do not want a competitive Britain either. Anything like Mays deal kills this. As does the renewable energy lunacy, the absurdly high and complex taxes, restrictive planning, the bonker employment laws and the endless insane red tape that strangles businesses every day.

    Yet plonkers like Hammond complain about the UK productivity problem – he and big government are the direct cause.

    1. margaret howard
      October 16, 2019


      ” but it is Europe that is the over-regulated backwater Brussels fears an ultra-competitive Britain”

      So you admit that individual EU members don’t have to follow a Brussels diktat?

      (However, how has an ‘over-regulated backwater’ like Brussels managed to turn the EU into the world’s largest, wealthiest trading bloc with many of its members ranking highest in democracy, workers’ rights, female equality etc?)

      And don’t say India and China have overtaken us. What EU member would exchange their conditions with them?)

      1. NickC
        October 17, 2019

        Margaret H said: “So you admit that individual EU members don’t have to follow a Brussels diktat?”

        No. Because EU members are required to obey all Brussels diktats – remember Declaration 17?

  51. BOF
    October 15, 2019

    It should be a cause for wonderment that politicians are so keen to leap in to change the world on the basis of unproven science,. some would say fraudulent, when almost none have any knowledge of the subject themselves and very few have taken the trouble to research the counter arguments and evidence, of which there is a great deal. Mainly, CO2 has almost no effect on climate.

    This morning we had Zac Goldsmith on the radio telling us about the wonderful new environmental legislation in the Queen’s Speech which was to be overseen by a tough new body. In other words, yet another quango. Thanks for nothing Zac.

  52. Gareth Warren
    October 15, 2019

    The two big problems are that climate change and CO2 are unproven and the replacement technologies are not ready.

    However I do believe we eventually need to reduce oil consumption both because it is a finite resource and because it is a dirty resource.

    Here there is evidence that replacement technologies are not as good, the fact mr Dyson is cancelling his electric car production underlines that.

    What we should be doing is making hydrocarbon energy a little more expensive, then viable alternatives will be selected.

  53. Sydney Ashurst
    October 15, 2019

    Who pays for those that do not live in their own homes and cannot afford the investment. The time scale will surely be unrealistic.
    Future research could prove that the current increase of 1 degree C since 1880 is a natural event. For example the shape of the Earths orbit around the Sun is not so elliptical.

  54. High-Priest of CC
    October 15, 2019

    Today’s Quiz:-

    Rearrange the following words, into a well-known phrase or saying:-

    “Lunatics The the Asylum have over taken”.

    Winner receives a chauffeur-driven, stretched limo trip, from home to Heathrow.

    An exciting week of flights and travel, will include trips around the World, on a privately chartered Jumbo-jet, to see the dreadful effects of Climate Change, in person.

  55. ian
    October 15, 2019

    When the people see councils and gov change over first, Whitehall, parliament the army all the buses, you go first i will follow.

    For buses, direct electric is best the same as the old trams and for lorries with own electric highways, batteries are not the way to go for big transport.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      October 15, 2019

      And the eco rabble protesting on London’s streets can be early adopters too.

      If it is so good we will surely follow

  56. Christine
    October 15, 2019

    The only hope you have of reducing emissions is to invent a new, cheap sustainable fuel, which can be given to the big polluting countries. This is where the Government must concentrate its energy. Invention is what our country is good at. Following the current course of action, or that proposed by Germany, is a recipe for disaster and will just make our country uncompetitive. Europe has under 10% of the world’s population. Asia has nearly 60%. India and China are opening new coal fired power stations faster than we can close them.

  57. formula57
    October 15, 2019

    I would be reluctant to accept significant disruption and cost whilst not knowing if measures are either too late or irrelevant.

    There seems much confusion between addressing global warming and issues of pollution.

  58. ian
    October 15, 2019

    Like always, the politicians will waste everybody time and money by getting it wrong.

  59. bigneil(newercomp)
    October 15, 2019

    7.6 trillion? – and how much of that to come from keeping the UK in the EU and upping the daily contribution – PLUS – every other bill the EU shoves our way?

  60. ian terry
    October 15, 2019

    Sir John

    It would be good to see a proper costing for the UK,

    It will never happen the history of this country is riddled with massive spending projects that have never come in on time and budget. I believe that a lot of it is to do with that the people who support and want these things have never done any cause and effect, or proper investigation into alternatives and the costing implications of the whole project.

    We never seem to learn. Even in 2019 we have totally unachievable targets set on a number of areas and all waved through on a nod and I suspect a prayer.

  61. glen cullen
    October 15, 2019

    Has anybody asked the energy supply companies about the affects of a zero caron economy ?

    As most of the energy companies have high fixed costs with small margins, and with customer consumption halved, they would have to sack hundreds of thousands of staff and dramatically increace the cost of energy.

  62. Ian Kaye
    October 15, 2019

    Dear Sir John,
    A guesstimate of the cost in UK might be 3 to 4 £ trillion.Over 30 years that would be say £100 billion per annum on a simple calculation. On a pessimistic assumption that every £ spent only increases GDP by 50 pence the tax burden would be mitigated to a greater or lesser extent. It would be interesting to know what proportion of the extra costs fall on the homeowner.

  63. Kenneth
    October 15, 2019

    The government is in danger of being sucked into the mantra that we need to spend oodles of money on new processes when the real trick is Conservation – a word that the anti-Conservative media tend to avoid at all costs.

    Doing less (with no loss of performance) costs less.

    I recently proposed to a government minister a very workable circular packaging system that would drastically cut packaging waste and drastically cut landfill.

    Also, technology is now available in clothing that can replace air conditioning in buildings with personal temperature control.

    Finally, graphene can be used to lightweight most transportation and heavy plant, thus reducing fuel consumption.

    All of these ideas and a few more can result in more efficient use of resources AND AT A LOWER COST than at present.

    We should stop giving in to those who see environmental measures as a cash cow and a Trojan horse to Communism.

    We should combine Conservation with Cost Reduction using market forces.

  64. a-tracy
    October 15, 2019

    Where Germany leads we’ll all be following.

    In the UK we’re building so many new homes right now that I feel it is a great pity that developments in solar aren’t available at low-cost in roof tiles so that the actual roof tile is a complete solar tile that functions as a tile rather than sits on top of other tiles.

    1. margaret howard
      October 16, 2019


      Solar roof tiles are already widely available and being used in countries like Germany and the US.

      1. libertarian
        October 17, 2019


        Solar roof tiles are being manufactured, sold and installed in the UK too

        So what you said has nothing to do with a-tracy post in which rightly its asked why new house builders aren’t using them

  65. hefner
    October 15, 2019

    Thirty years, that looks very reasonable to me if one thinks of the changes that occurred between, say, 1915 and 1945, ’45 and ’75, or any other 30-year period. Moreover some report quotes presently roughly $85 trillions of assets under management, with $1 tn in VC funds, and already $23 tn with some mention of ESG criteria in their investment policies, growing (it seems) by 25%/year. Looking at VCT investments in the UK about 15% of SMEs and start-ups (specially those linked one way or another) to “big” universities are also quoting ESG criteria when supported by VCT investment.
    So yes, for me, these (and potentially the German plans) make sense.
    And I am so sorry for those who are unable to see that. And BTW Bjorn Lomborg and his Copenhagen Consensus Center do not say things so different …

    1. libertarian
      October 16, 2019


      German government’s CO2 deal benefits long-distance commuters with large SUVs. Country now on course to miss 2030 climate goals. Germany tries to stop EIB from phasing out fossil fuel investments confirms the country has no interest in meeting Paris targets. Germany will always prioritise its industry over climate goals. Merkel’s commitment to the Paris targets was a lie. Big conflicts ahead.

  66. A Poet
    October 15, 2019

    It comes from the increasing matriarchal society.
    Overly feathering the nest, pecking out discomfitures, with the male hunter gatherer birdy confined to nest.
    So far, worm meat is out, insect meat is out, pecking male farmers artificial grubs is out, eating things caught in ones beak overhead is out as it generates bad air.
    You think I joke if only ineffectively. It is not funny you say. No it isn’t.

    1. a-tracy
      October 16, 2019

      Oh, don’t blame women with that wide brush of yours! There are equal numbers of men if not more on these XR publicity stunts. What percentage of the 250 Union of concerned scientists are women? I suspect low.

  67. Christine
    October 15, 2019

    Who will have the courage to stand up and challenge this folly that will cripple economies and achieve absolutely nothing? Let’s start by educating ourselves instead of allowing ourselves to be brainwashed by the media and pseudo scientists.
    How about reading up about Milankovitch cycles as a starting point?

  68. ian
    October 15, 2019

    I am looking forward to the Queen speech being passed by parliament.

  69. John Probert
    October 15, 2019

    It would seem some what hypocritical that governments can run car scrappage schemes
    to boost the economy but are reluctant to do it to save our childrens lungs

  70. BillM
    October 15, 2019

    Does anyone really know what is the purpose for this zero carbon target?
    Why do the Chinese and India not abide by the ‘rules’ when they are opening a new coal-fired power station each week? They laugh at the West, naively increasing their energy costs deeming their products more expensive for the Global market and therefore less competitive.
    It is one thing to cut down on air-pollution but why would humans want to prevent the creation and enhancement of plant growth on the planet? CO2 to plant life is as O2 is to animals – of all kinds. A planet with no plant life is a dead planet.
    In any case, it is chasing rainbows. The UK, we are told, is responsible for just 2% of global Carbon emissions. I suspect Germany is not much more. Just what serious effect will that have upon global totals?
    I conclude that this global warming scare is just another scam by the Establishment to enforce their New World Order upon us. It is based on a plan laid down in the 1992 Rio “Earth Summit” in a document entitled ‘UN Agenda 21’ and it is a surprise that even the Germans have fallen for it.
    Those who have ignored it are China, India and Russia and more recently the USA has sen the light. It is time we. the silent majority spoke up and challenged the Establishment. We, who never complain enough and are consequently ignored because of our silence, must change the way we are controlled or end up in a neo-USSR society.
    Germany can do what they want, I always put my country and its citizens before any other. I want the Establishment dismantled and we all revert to plain old democracy again, where the people always decide what is best for them.
    Carbon is an element, essential for ALL life on Earth. Need we know any more than that?

  71. Dave Ward
    October 15, 2019

    “Or do you think this is a wrong course of action ?”

    Of COURSE it’s the wrong action! There is precisely NO chance of this country becoming “Zero Carbon” by 2050 or especially by 2025 – not unless you are going to drastically change our way of life. And how long do you imagine your (or any other) government will remain in power once the population realise what this really entails. The UK produces less than 2% of world CO2 emissions, and anything “We” do will have no effect, as India & China carry on regardless.

  72. grant
    October 15, 2019

    F business and F the Germans- the country is about to be sold out and this is all you have to offer-

    1. steve
      October 15, 2019


      I agree. We’re being deliberately kept in the dark while Boris sells us out. Not good enough, not acceptable.

      Get them out at the next general election, send them down with Labour and the rest.

  73. Les
    October 15, 2019

    “He made it to be inhabited” Isaiah 45:18.
    Folk may well be asking, if they bother to read this, what is he on?!
    I want to give a very different response to others here – probably unacceptably…

    If we leave God out of the picture (a very dangerous thing to do) then we can look at the resources available to mankind.
    Those on the earth are clearly finite – oil etc., but what is not explored? e.g. heat from the mantle – so energy sources on earth are still vast.
    In addition – and as far as we are concerned, practically infinite is the energy from the Sun. One does not hear this, but actually it is harnessed very efficiently by the earth through plant life – a natural global, solar panel. The simplest example being grass which sheep and cows (and bees! One should mention plankton but this list would easily become very long) refine into food which we can utilise.
    (Question: Who made this truly marvellous and beautiful design – which has worked without maintenance for millennia? In contrast, try maintaining solar panels, or windmills at sea for 25 years.)
    Energy for transport is a very focused requirement – many millions of cars, trucks, buses, scooters, ships, planes, etc. Transport requires an energy-dense portable source. Nothing, – nothing, approaches the utility of oil for this requirement.

    Now, to return to my original quotation. The clear answer is that as long as the earth is needed as a habitation for man its resources will continue to be there.
    (I hear laughter, but the resources outlined above are clearly measurable and can be shown to be beyond our needs – so you can stop laughing! 🙂
    Note: CO2 is a completely necessary molecule for that plant-derived food and energy source / system.
    The idiocy of the current thinking is utterly amazing. Sure, we should steward our use of these marvellous resources – and not exploit them – I strongly suspect that that is an entirely unrealistic expectation; but to reduce it to one molecule CO2 – even to one element (Carbon) is beyond foolish – ‘simple’tons indeed..

  74. Peter from Leeds
    October 15, 2019

    Sir John,

    History teaches us that these environmental problems – perceived or real occur and we find solutions and then future generations benefit.

    The Great Stink 1858 resulted in the fantastic sewage system that is still being used and we all accept that tax payers should continue to maintain and improve the system.

    The Great Horse Manure Crisis 1894 led to an international conference and the prospect of London being under 9 feet of horse manure was predicted within 50 years. At the time no solution seemed possible – yet within a couple of decades horses had virtually vanished from the streets.

    In my lifetime smoke free zones and the removal of sulphur and lead from fuel have massively improved air quality. Not to mention smoking bans! (Remember acid rain?)

    So to answer your points :

    The air industry depends on the gas turbine – which is a very efficient heat engine. But electric planes are being developed for short haul – quieter and obviously cleaner.

    Car plants are gradually turning over to electric car production. Just as we have seen the end of deep coal mining in this country, with all the social upheaval that entailed I cannot understand why people worry about the closure of diesel and petrol engine factories. New processing factories will be required for batteries (there is already one in Sunderland). Last time I was in London I noticed electric cars charging on the streets (St James square to be specific). Car charging stations are opening all around.

    So to summarise I feel optimistic that the solutions to these issues are being tackled and business will prosper as a result of the new priorities.

    1. a-tracy
      October 16, 2019

      Well said Peter, I’m optimistic too.
      I believe we should be developing solutions with the brightest students and postgraduate students in our best Universities and really invest in solutions rather than whiners.

      We concentrate so much education funding in trying to fund teachers’ assistants and try social experiments with poor bright children, by putting underperformers with them on their working tables which results in just dragging them down and distracting them so they don’t achieve their full potential at school (this just doesn’t happen in private schools). We need to develop our brightest, forward-thinking, technology and design children and teenagers and make advancements to get us out of protecting old industries and jobs in dying sectors, I’m sure the horse-drawn cart drivers and ancillary services weren’t happy about the technological advances of the motor vehicles just as we hear the petroleum industries buy out and hold back new ideas.

  75. Anonymous
    October 15, 2019

    I want to see all green protesters cut to zero today. Especially celebrities

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      October 15, 2019


  76. BJC
    October 15, 2019

    I don’t see much in the way of these middle-class evangelists living the humble lifestyle they think everyone else should live. Perhaps they’d care to give up their own luxuries before expecting everyone else to pay the unaffordable price of their ideology. It’s an extraordinary demonstration of staggering hypocrisy.

    In truth, it’s impossible to tame the power of nature and it’s utterly preposterous to suggest otherwise.

  77. kzb
    October 15, 2019

    Pro-rata for population and converting to GBP, the UK cost would be around £5.3 trillion.

    XR wants net carbon zero by 2030, 11 years. This makes our annual cost £480 billion, or about 24 percent of UK GDP over the next 11 years.

    So we all have to be 24% poorer for the next 11 years. That will be a “difficult sell”. Particularly when all it will achieve is World CO2 emissions being just 1.02% lower than they would have been, and totally swamped by increases in China and India in the same time period.
    Why is the government not making this clear? I was shocked at the apparent high level of support for XR on Question Time last week.

  78. James McCubbin
    October 15, 2019

    Wrong course of action, absolutely. Hysteria driven nonsense and political opportunism.
    I’m greatly relieved that the comments offered so far are so rich in sound sense and practicality.

  79. ed2
    October 15, 2019

    John, are we not in this mess because you and the ERG do not believe in conspiracy theorists? The conspiracy theorists said the EU would punish us, humiliate us, dictate to us and suppress us if we ever got free. While you and the ERG sold us Brexit Unicorns.

    When will you lot wise up?

  80. Simeon
    October 15, 2019

    How much pressure is there on Brexiteers to burnish their Green credentials as a way of demonstrating that, though they might be characterised as extreme on Brexit by a certain constituency, on the climate crisis – a matter of even greater import for many in that same constituency- they are eminently reasonable? Or, support us on Brexit, and we’ll rocket-boost your eco agenda.

    I think the damage the eco-loons wish to do to economies is far greater than anything Corbyn’s radical socialism might manage – not that this in any way justifies the latter!

  81. Atlas
    October 15, 2019

    Sir J.,

    Simply put, like the posts of others here on this topic, I think the whole thing is crackers.

  82. Rule Britannia
    October 15, 2019

    I think it’s the wrong course of action.

    As I have explained here many times, climate change science is NOT proven to the satisfaction of many real scientists.

    1. Is it happening at all (or is it cyclic change such as due to changes in the orbit/movement of the planets over tens of thousands of years which causes cycles such as ice ages).

    2. How much of it is caused by Mankind?

    Many factors are at work here.

    C02 dissolves in sea water. It holds less C02 at higher temperatures, so the effect of a rise in temperature is exacerbated by the acceleration of C02 that is already in sea water emerging and adding to the increasing the level in the atmosphere.

    Re sea levels. I have mentioned Archimedes’ Principle before. A floating body displaces its weight, a submerged body displaces its mass. Since ice weighs the same as water, any floating ice will not cause a change in displacement, therefore when it melts the sea level will be the same.

    Remember the physics teacher showing you the experiment with the lead soldier? The soldier is in a small boat, which is floating on water with the level marked. He asks “If I tip the soldier out of the boat, to fall into the bottom, will the level go up, down or will it stay the same?”.

    Few people get the right answer because it’s unintuitive. He’s made of lead, which is dense, so it is heavy in small amounts – therefore the level falls, due to the high weight in such a small body.

    The same is happening with ice. Only Antarctica and Greenland have ice on rock, the rest is floating bar a few glaciers. Even if it all melted (which it won’t, not by a long chalk) it would not all reach the sea due to melt rivers and melt pool phenomena.

    More importantly, since we started measuring Antarctica in 2013, it has been expanding!!!

    Next time you see someone on TV showing images of ice sheering off and melting in the Arctic (not the ANTarctic)… please feel free to laugh and say “Floating ice? Pah! Learn some basic physics”.

    The number of so-called climate change ‘scientists’ who appear to have forgotten basic school-level science is as astonishing as it is depressing.

  83. Sue Doughty
    October 15, 2019

    You see only residential consumers, not steel and glass makers and other employers with high energy requirements. Germany can outsource it all to the Far East but that is making the problem worse.

  84. Sue Doughty
    October 15, 2019

    The belief in impending Armageddon happens to some people and appears to be infectious. When someone sets upa scare story lots of others believe it. Chicken Licken, “the sky is falling, quick, panic and blame someone!”

  85. Stred
    October 15, 2019

    The German estimate is likely to be far more accurate than the one provided by the Climate Change Committee of academics and representatives of the wind and gas industries. Here the proposal to build up to 15000 offshore wind turbines producing 59% of electricity and run industry, lorries, trains, ships and half the power stations on hydrogen made by reforming methane and converting gas supply mains to hydrogen was estimated to cost a small percentage of GDP. They do however realise that industries will not be staying in the UK if the charge is applied to them. The proposal is to get taxpayers, house owners and customers to pay for it. Almost all politicians seem to think that this is a good idea.

  86. Tabulazero
    October 15, 2019

    Have you joined Extinction Rebelion, Mr Redwood ?

    Quite surprising !

  87. Sarah Tun
    October 15, 2019

    20 years, at our personal cost. In the course, boilers, cars and the like that need replacing should be replaced by the new technology. But changing for the sake of it is unrealistic and unnecessary. Like the change in light bulbs, the newer versions require a lot of energy and wastage is costly too. So, allow a gradual shift to avoid wastage. Only half of the problem with climate change is emissions, the other half being totally natural and unavoidable. To act as though it’s all carbon is senseless, ignorance and will — if hastened – create a wastage that will defeat a large part of the purpose.

  88. Peter Bounds
    October 15, 2019

    My gas fired domestic boiler is rated at 30kW full bore. I don’t know if it achieves its rating and if it does, how frequently. I can only tell when I get the statement: how much gas I have used and how much it has cost me.

    The house was built in 1948 to the regulations then in force, including loft insulation. I have lived in it since 1985 and since then had cavity wall insulation and double glazing installed, as and when I could afford to do it. I do know that the boiler and the insulation succeed in keeping me warm in winter when the internal/external temperature difference is at its greatest.

    To replace the boiler with something electric would draw 125A from the supply. My domestic breaker is rated at 100A.

    No doubt there are imaginative enhancements available now and in the future which might improve the situation, but what’s the payback time?

    Do I go cold in winter, buy a new house, or what?

    In the meantime, I think I agree with Lifelogic.

  89. Dominic
    October 15, 2019

    Spanish democrats jailed. Welcome to the wonderful world of European democracy EU style

    1. margaret howard
      October 16, 2019


      Nothing to do with EU membership as you well know.

      However you give us proof yet again of Brexiteer fabrications (or should one be kind and blame ignorance instead?)

      1. libertarian
        October 17, 2019

        Margaret H

        Its such a shame that you dont know what you voted for

        Catalonia’s ex-leader Carles Puigdemont has been detained by German police acting on a European arrest warrant.

        I’ll be kind to you and say its ignorance

  90. Paul Davies
    October 15, 2019

    Utterly ridiculous. Domt tell me that you have been taken in by this scam. Water vapour is the heater and the sun the driver of the climate.

    1. If
      October 15, 2019

      Honestly I haven’t noticed any major changes in climate cum weather here in the UK. England is historically known throughout the world as “Rainy”. It has not disappointed their prejudices over the last half century and more.
      Much better detailed reporting however, a focus of interest. They should focus on playing a simple game like football. Nothing changes there. You kick the ball it moves. You get in its way it stops or bounces off you. Simple.

  91. MakingWaves
    October 15, 2019

    Isn’t it amazing to watch the latest J R-M volte-face up close- the hypocrisy of it all- wonder where he’s heading? must be to his ordained hinterland- the Lords.

    1. James1
      October 15, 2019

      Hope I am wrong but the smell of Brino is in the air. I hope Boris does not cave in to EU demands that would not be asked of any other nation let alone accepted by any other nation. If he does the result will of course be such widespread disappointment that I believe we will inevitably see a massive switch of votes to the Brexit Party at the next election, and the sweeping out of office of the Conservative Party.

  92. Graham Wheatley
    October 15, 2019

    Some nations are going to bankrupt themselves in their attempt to fix a non-problem.
    We should not be one of them.

  93. DaveK
    October 15, 2019

    Once upon a time…….

    There were people who believed they should help their communities and became the political class. The ultimate in helping your community became the drive to save the planet. Acting on the advice of dodgy scientivists and frauds they followed a report made up by other world saving politicians which told them to carry out acts to de-industrialise and set back progress of their nations to create a utopia if you will (Western nations only, the guilt is strong in them).

    Real scientists and Engineers were ignored, and unicorn policies took over until the economy crashed and masses died. Sadly 645 out of the 650 people in a position to save them had joined the religious sect and all was lost.

    References: UNIPCC – Summary for Policymakers (various editions), Climate Change Act 2008, Climategate 2009, Paris Accord, Yoda et al

  94. Dennis
    October 15, 2019

    Off topic – just heard on WATO that the BBC now believes it is a fact that B. Johnson LIED to the Queen. An interviewee said to Sarah Montague that we know now that BJ lied to the Queen. Montague just let that pass as a well known fact.

    Strangely on LBC this morning JR -Mogg explained how the audience with the Queen was conducted so that no lie was delivered.

    1. steve
      October 15, 2019


      I heard about that too.

      However I don’t see how it is possible to ‘lie’ to the Queen, other than say; give an ambiguous statement of intent to gain her approval, though her Majesty is certainly no fool and I would have thought she’d see right through him.

      It’s irrelevant now though, since he appears to be sneaking May’s surrender treaty through Varadkar’s back door.

  95. Alfred Potter
    October 15, 2019

    Its a massive con …C02 is plant food and the glaciers are still melting from the recent ice age. As the earth wobbles closer to and further from the Sun and its fluid core deflects varying amounts of cosmic particles; we are exposed to varying levels of solar weather.
    Cloud cover and changing circumstance has affected temperature readings on the ground.
    Man will be here in 300AD but how much ‘earth rape’ will be needed to remanufacture everything?


  96. David Taylor
    October 15, 2019

    I do not think that apart from making the people involved happier , because they have taken action themselves , that making Germany or Britain , Zero Carbon by a certain date will maje any difference .
    Other Countries are increasing their carbon output annually , with no sign of reducing it .
    In the meantime the West will beggar itself and allow itself to become dependent on weather driven forms of energy , with unreliability of supply guaranteed .
    Didcot Power station destroyed , Ferrybridge likewise and as to the Drax power station fuelled by wood pellets processed in the USA and shipped across the Atlantic , how can that be described as green ?

  97. Elli Ron
    October 15, 2019

    Changes which will reduce local pollution i.e. NOx, particulates from the air, plastics from the oceans and incineration or landfills are worthwhile targets.
    However the zero carbon is a pipe dream, it will not happen unless we start building tens of nuclear power stations right away.
    The point is that as long as China is INCREASING it’s CO2 by 3% per annum, India the USA and 90% of the world which are refusing to participate in CO2 reduction, the effort of the participating 10% will not even change the up-going trajectory of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    As Sir John has pointed out, China is sponsoring a 720bn program of coal power stations in the world, this apart from opening two new coal power stations per WEEK in China itself.
    Let XR go to China to protest their climate message, it will certainly help the UK in getting rid of this anti-democratic irrational group.

  98. Lindsay McDougall
    October 15, 2019

    Does the German plan include ceasing to burn coal at its power stations? At the moment 40% of German electricity is produced from filthy brown lignite coal. Their options for replacement are limited because they have renounced nuclear power and shut down their nuclear industry.

    About a year ago the Economist printed a little chart which showed that as long as net zero carbon emissions is achieved by 2060, the rise in atmospheric temperature would be limited to 1.5 C degrees, as agreed at the climate change conference.

    We can do better than that but I can’t see changes being completed before 2040 even if we can afford to carry out our programme unilaterally. In reality, we have to remain economically competitive and the USA, China and India have scarcely begun their journey. Worldwide, a complete programme will probably take until 2050.

    It might be that the most useful thing we can do is to produce a programme of how the USA, China and India can achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050. Take China for example:
    – When will they stop building new coal fired power stations (ASAP obviously)?
    – When will they have converted existing coal fired power stations to clean coal or some other form of energy?
    – Is China able to slow down its investment in transport infrastructure and divert some of the investment to green measures such as tree planting?

    The current American President has his power base in the rust belt and is pro coal. After he leaves office, in 2024 at the latest, America can play its full part.

    I know that you asked your question about the UK economy but carbon dioxide gas takes no notice of international boundaries.

  99. lojolondon
    October 15, 2019

    No plan is the best plan.
    1. The earth is only warming by 1 degree per century, and that is because we are exiting the Little Ice Age, man cannot meaningfully affect the temperature of the earth.
    2. Carbon does not warm the earth, CO2 represents 5% of greenhouse gases, Human activity releases only 4% of the CO2 in the atmosphere, and Britain causes 3.6% of the human contribution to the atmosphere. So, were Britain to go 100% carbon-free, costing trillions of pounds, that would reduce global CO2 by 0.0016%. Bearing in mind that China and India are building coal-powered power-stations as fast as they can, and this demonstrates the utter uselessness of this whole idea.

  100. mongoose
    October 15, 2019

    Folks, it is nearly always warmer than this during an intergalcial period. Almost 10,000 of the last 11,000 years – since the end of the last ice age – have been warmer than this.

    There is nothing untoward happening in the slightest.

  101. CvM
    October 15, 2019

    Couple of comments. Firstly I live in Germany, I suspect German households are already better placed vs U.K. As the housing stock seems much better in many ways. Secondly I think the German consumer is more accepting to pay Ayhan the U.K. One.

    Finally, working for a paper making consumer goods company, IF (and it’s the key assumption and major point to change in many countries) plastic packaging can be properly collected (the major gap) it can be recycled into new packaging, technology and knowledge is advancing very fast under consumer pressure. This is far better for the environment than paper based packaging. Of course if not recycled then plastic is probably far worse as it doesn’t degrade. Governmental policy should therefore focus on supporting a development of the collect and reuse of plastic packaging, where packaging is really necessary

    1. a-tracy
      October 16, 2019

      CvM “As the housing stock seems much better in many ways.” Interesting, in what ways? Are these properties built after a certain date or all properties? Did the government give subsidies to improve energy consumption?

      I agree with you about plastic packaging. Our plastics are collected fortnightly I’m not sure however how they are repurposed I think our Council should tell us.

  102. Guy Liardet
    October 15, 2019

    It’s complete madness. UK’s contribution to global CO2 is one per cent. Nothing we do will make the slightest difference. For the last forty years world has warmed a beneficial one point three degsC a century. There is no climate crisis. Everything is getting better. CO2 is clearly not the climate driver. Read it up and work out where the money comes from. Pathetic

  103. Lynn Atkinson
    October 15, 2019

    Let’s see the Extinction Rebellion supporters showing us how to do it first. No travelling to demonstrate, no phones, computers, flights, multiple houses, cars etc etc. I’m looking at the Curtis Freud Family with their huge number of children and conspicuous consumption to give me the lead. Where they go I will consider following. Until then I am prepared to make no changes whatsoever!

  104. Narrow Shoulders
    October 15, 2019

    You ask how much we should be expected to pay? I ask who decided we should pay anything? There has never been a vote on this or even an opposing view presented in an election.

    The single issue party for this subject gets few votes yet our lawmakers fall over themselves to enact new and costly laws to reduce our carbon emissions. Who asked them to?

    The single issue party that suggested we leave the EU got over 10% of the vote and yet the same lawmakers fall over themselves to deny our request and stay in the EU.

    This climate issue is too complex for the politicians surely it is time for our people’s vote.

  105. Simon Coleman
    October 15, 2019

    When you’re posting about German zero-carbon, I think that’s your way of expressing displeasure at the latest Brexit events. It’s that C- word again, the one you hate…Compromise! Your ERG mates are now apparently happy about a border in the Irish Sea. Even Mrs May rejected it! What a joke.

  106. Martin C
    October 15, 2019

    Cancel Mrs May’s commitment to Zero Carbon
    Repeal Carbon Tax Laws (like the USA)
    Terminate the contacts of ‘scientists’ who manipulate data

  107. Turboterrier.
    October 15, 2019

    Sir John

    The cost of subsidies to the UK bill payers is £340 per a year that relates to £9bn total and still we are hitting hardest the poorest in society. These figures are from the GWPF and are freely available on the internet. Industrial and commercial operations are also be affected in their energy / efficiency performances and we want to be really competitive?

  108. Ian terry
    October 15, 2019

    Whatever become of the great shale gas bonanza championed by CMD and George Osbourne?

    The whole process now seems to be dead in the water. What a lost opportunity when one considers what supporting it has done for the American economy.

    All these zero figures are nonsense and with other countries championing coal and being more competitive we do our usual stand and watch our industries either relocate abroad or go to the wall. When will this country ever learn?

  109. Mark
    October 16, 2019

    Zero carbon is the most damaging policy invented by politicians since mass executions were imposed by the Communists in Russia and China. I am heartened that the great majority of comments here see through the nonsense. Now we need some politicians to stand up for sensible energy policy and an end to this pursuit of economic and societal collapse.

  110. Mike Wilson
    October 16, 2019

    And Nero fiddled while Rome burnt.

    The problem is the massive and endless growth in the global population and the fact that people around the world want the same standard of living that we enjoy. Sticking a few extra inches of insulation in our lofts will make no difference when the population is increasing so quickly.

  111. Richard
    October 16, 2019

    The CO2 logarithmic formula is stated on P358, Table 6.2 This means that at current 415ppm we already experience over 87% (7/8) of CO2’s full potential warming effect on the atmosphere.

    IPCC cited models all assume increased water vapour which they rely on to force warming. However, NASA has monitored moisture in the atmosphere since 1980 – and water vapour has awkwardly NOT increased despite the higher levels of CO2 in the air.

    1. hefner
      October 16, 2019

      Whether you accept it or not the left panel of Figure 8 still shows a warming of the atmosphere from surface to about 8 km obviously nothing as intense as in the projections of the climate models but still a warming. And the logarithmic formula is correct as an approximation to the effect on the whole longwave radiation spectrum, but does not distinguish between the strong absorption bands of CO2 around 15 microns which are practically saturated (so no direct effect) and the much weaker ones at 9.4 and 10.4 microns which are in a linear regime and therefore continue to contribute to the warming of the lower atmosphere.
      And the contributors to Wattsupwiththat should be told to use more recent data. They are in the public domain up to July 2019, so are they sleeping on the job?

  112. John P McDonald
    October 16, 2019

    I have been in detailed correspondence with Sir John about this subject.
    The issue in my view is that the Government has not given a scientific justification that Human generated CO2 is the the cause of global warming /climate change. The Green House effect is based on an 18th century theory, not accepted by all scientists working in the field.
    We only generate a small proportion of the total amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere by mother nature. The build up of CO2 in the atmosphere will both reflect radiated heat from the earth and also reflect received radiated heat from the Sun. So could have a cooling effect.
    There are various good justifications for reducing pollution caused by traffic, manufacturing, construction, but not based on that they generate CO2 which is non-toxic and needed to support plant growth.
    We are putting ever increasing amounts of heat energy into the atmosphere which warms the sea and causes it to release stored CO2. We cut down rain forests which both releases CO2 and reduces natures ability to capture CO2.
    Just by being alive we generate CO2. Don’t forget that to become carbon neutral we may end up generating more CO2, waste, toxic pollutants and other problems with greater effect on the climate/environment. The increase in CO2 level is a warning flag, it is not a cause in itself.
    I have asked Government to state the % of CO2 generated directly by industry in the widest sense of the word of the total being released into the atmosphere by nature resulting from the seas warming and loss of forests, volcanic activity etc. etc.
    It seems these figures are not available.
    Just by generating heat we are warming the earth and causing it to release CO2.

  113. kzb
    October 17, 2019

    Where has this €7.6 trillion figure come from? Can anyone provide the reference?

    1. hefner
      October 17, 2019

      There are some elements to answer your question on the GWPF website, from a German document translated into English.

      1. kzb
        October 17, 2019

        Yes I have found this thanks.
        However there is another German report which gives much lower costs, at least for 95% reduction.
        BDI “Climate Paths for Germany” costs are an order of magnitude lower, plus they argue it will be a net benefit for the economy.

  114. Paul F Austin
    October 18, 2019

    Please pose exactly the same questions to China. We go down, they continue to go up and pay no heed to any madcap ideas we carry out to destroy our industries.
    YES! We HAVE gone stark staring raving mad!
    Importing dependant immigrants, exporting our industries – come back Monty Python.

  115. Edwardm
    October 22, 2019

    As JR says, changing from hydrocarbon power to electricity has a cost.
    If the climate change scares were true, and provided all nations agreed to stop burning hydrocarbons then there would be some point to it.
    But as the climate change is essentially natural (probably solar causes) and little influenced by man, and the biggest CO2 producer nations are not changing soon,
    it is therefore the wrong course of action to rush to a low carbon economy.

    As for costs and timescales – that should be left to individual preference and the market. Consumer demand vs supply price will find it’s own economic timescale – that is by definition acceptable.

    Government should be wary of forcing the pace of change – I guess a time scale of much less than 15-20 years would lead to unacceptable costs and take-up resistance.
    And I guess many people will complain if costs are noticeably increased (over 5% ?).

    I have no problem with current hydrocarbon usage with emissions standards, except for cutting down virgin forests for wood burning generators.

Comments are closed.