Skip to content

Deben’s Fantasy World

January 17, 2018

By Paul Homewood


More propaganda from Harrabin:



Three-fifths of new cars must be electric by 2030 to meet greenhouse gas targets, ministers have been warned.

Homes also need to be built to a higher standard, the Committee on Climate Change – the official watchdog – says.

The government says the UK is cutting emissions faster than any other G7 nation – and the committee agrees there has been a big shift under Theresa May.

However, it says the UK will fall short of its ambitions unless ministers do more to turn pledges into reality.

The warning comes less than a week after the prime minister launched a 25-year plan to protect the environment, including eradicating all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

The committee agrees the government’s recently-published Clean Growth Plan is a big improvement, and says the UK has been a world leader in cutting emissions so far.

But it argues that the plan still doesn’t offer detailed policies to meet legal carbon targets.

Carbon capture from industry must be made to happen, it says, and wood and plastics should be banned from landfill in order to re-use them.

More trees should be planted to soak up carbon dioxide, with a view to creating 70,000 hectares (173,000 acres) of new woodland by 2025, and farming must do more to cut emissions.

‘Major change’

Industry, too, is urged to take greater responsibility.

The committee’s chairman Lord Deben, told BBC News: "If you’re going to sell an electric car your dealers have got to understand these things, so training dealers is essential.

"If you’re running a big fossil fuel company, you have to start thinking about the realities of when, not if, because it is not if any longer, we use a lot less fossil fuels."

He also criticised construction firms for only doing the "absolute minimum" required on building energy efficient homes.

The committee points out that better insulated homes would cut people’s bills as well as tackle climate change, and calls for more incentives to encourage "able to pay" households to install efficiency measures.



Lord Deben said the Clean Growth Strategy had "changed the tone" of the government on the issue.


"These issues have been put into the centre of government policy – that’s a major change."

But, he said, ambitions alone are not enough.

"The strategy doesn’t deliver enough action to meet emissions targets in the 2020s and 2030s," he said.

"The government’s policies will need to be firmed up as a matter of urgency and supplemented with additional measures if the UK is to deliver on legal commitments and secure its position as an international climate change leader."

He added: "All departments now need to look at their contribution towards cutting emissions – including the Department for Transport."

The committee wants 30% to 70% of new cars to be ultra-low emission by 2030, as well as up to 40% of new vans, as part of efforts to phase out sales of conventional petrol and diesel versions by 2040.

Currently, fewer than 5% of new car sales are "alternatively fuelled", which also includes hybrid models.

Prof Michael Grubb, from University College London, said: "There are plenty of good ideas out there on low-carbon energy, cutting emissions from buildings, clean transport and more, but as the committee rightly points out, concrete plans need to be put in place, and soon.

"The government is making all the right noises on support for the low-carbon economy, but these must be turned into action: we need a year of decision-making."

Richard Black, from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, agreed: "We’re not on track to meet emissions goals that kick in in just five years’ time.

"That leaves ministers little time for enquiries and consultations – they’re going to have to put new policies in place fast."

Mr Black suggested quick-win policies including: cutting company car tax for electric vehicles; repealing the ban on onshore wind power (the cheapest form of electricity generation), and re-starting the programme for Zero Carbon Homes.


A business department spokesperson said: "The scrutiny of the independent Committee on Climate Change plays an important role.

"The UK has reduced emissions on a per-person basis faster than any other G7 nation, and our clean growth strategy is the next ambitious milestone in our work to de-carbonise the UK.

"We have always said it is only the start of a process.

"Our proposals will continue to evolve – whether in response to costs of renewable energy coming down, improved evidence about climate change, wider trends in technology or the economic opportunities delivered through our industrial strategy."


It’s obviously too much to expect Harrabin to use his critical faculties.

For instance:

1) How much is this all going to cost?

The Committee on Climate Change has for years been extremely reluctant to reveal just how much we are going to pay for this obsession with climate change.

Given that Mr Gummer is so keen to force the country down this path, surely he has duty to tell us the cost first? And the BBC also has a duty to make sure that he does.


2) In particular, Deben has an obsession with electric cars. The reality is that very few people want to buy them, even with massive subsidies, because they simply are not up to the job.

Meanwhile, billions would need to be spent to provide even a very minimal coverage of charging points. And billions more to equip the electricity infrastructure to cope with it. Where does he suggest this money comes from?

And if more EVs do appear on the road, where will the Treasury get the money from to replace lost revenue from fuel duty? Not to mention the even greater subsidies Richard Black demands.

The reality is that for all of this to happen by 2030 is pie in the sky stuff.


3) Deben also moans about construction firms only doing the "absolute minimum" required on building energy efficient homes.

But insulation and other energy efficiency schemes don’t come free. It is the house buyer who ends up paying. First time buyers find it hard enough to afford a new house, without such eco-nonsense.


4) In a way though, Deben hits the nail on the head when he says that while the Clean Growth Strategy had "changed the tone" of the government on the issue, ambitions alone are not enough.

"The strategy doesn’t deliver enough action to meet emissions targets in the 2020s and 2030s," he said.

As some of us have been pointing out for a while, the Clean Growth Strategy will do little to achieve carbon targets. Instead it is little more than a distraction from the real problems.

We have already made the easy savings in CO2 emissions, such as by phasing out coal. To even hit current carbon budgets, never mind reach the 2050 target, will entail massive costs, damage the economy, hit standards of living, and risk undermining the economic infrastructure of the country.


5) Despite the fact that the UK has been cutting emissions faster than any other G7 country, Deben wants us to go even further, to secure its position as an international climate change leader.

I fail to see how this can in any way benefit the country. And given that global emissions will carry on rising at least until 2030, any savings we make will be no more than spitting in the wind.


6) Deben also says that carbon capture from industry must be made to happen.

Again, this is a pipe dream for a process that does not exist in anything like a industrial scale. Even if it did, it would impose such large costs on industry that it would amount to economic suicide.


7) Harrabin gives full space to supporters of decarbonisation policies, such as the ECIU (which he fails to inform us is no more than a lobby group for such policies, and not the objective “Intelligence Unit” he presents it as)

Nowhere are any alternative voices allowed to appear.


8) Finally there is misinformation about onshore wind, which Harrabin allows his former BBC colleague Black to propagate:

“Repealing the ban on onshore wind power (the cheapest form of electricity generation)”

As I am sure both Harrabin and Black know full well, there is no “ban” on onshore wind power. After the 2015 election, the Conservative Government merely carried out its manifesto promise to allow local councils to have the final say in planning decisions, rather than the unaccountable national infrastructure regime, which was previously allowed to overrule the wishes of local people.

As for his “cheapest” claim, this is palpable poppycock. If it really was cheapest, new wind farms would still be being built without the subsidies now withdrawn.

New wind farms built prior to the ending of subsidies via the Renewable Obligation scheme in 2016, (or already in the pipeline at that time), earn about £41/MWh in subsidy. This is on top of the market price for electricity, currently around £45/MWh.

Larger schemes recently constructed, or due in the next year or so, have also been awarded CfD contracts of between £85.02 and £89.23/MWh, giving them a similar return.

Both subsidy schemes have now been withdrawn from onshore wind, which is why new developments have rapidly dried up.



It is the job of the BBC to fully and impartially report stories like this one, and not act as an echo chamber for the green lobby.

  1. markl permalink
    January 17, 2018 4:59 pm

    “That leaves ministers little time for enquiries and consultations – they’re going to have to put new policies in place fast.” More shoot, ready, aim. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! Politicians are easily manipulated into grand schemes they know nothing about…… especially when these schemes mean more money and power under their control.

    • David Cooper permalink
      January 17, 2018 6:16 pm

      Spot on Markl. I panic when these inumerate wordsmiths promote their grand schemes. In the end it just means that the taxes paid by the hard-working man are wasted.
      In the UK we drive on crumbling roads, our NHS cannot cope, our pensions and employment security are at risk and we are supposed to raise our glasses to the half-baked ideas of some fancy dan!
      The political parties are useless but aren’t we supposed to be protected by the Taxpayers Alliance?

  2. Ian permalink
    January 17, 2018 5:28 pm

    “… cutting company car tax for electric vehicles …” This will only be meaningful for purely electric vehicles. Allowing generous tax breaks to company car buyers of hybrids is pure gesture politics and contributes very little to CO2 reduction (even assuming it’s needed). A recent long term test of a hybrid car resulted in a fuel consumption of about 52 mpg, easily achievable by most average size Diesels and some small petrol engines. Tax breaks are based on unrealistic mpg or CO2 figures, but it’s convenient for HMG to pretend otherwise.

  3. BLACK PEARL permalink
    January 17, 2018 5:29 pm

    Note to John Gummer

    It appears ‘Mad Cow’ has affected more people in different ways than we thought, even though you said it couldn’t happen

    • January 17, 2018 10:18 pm

      In that picture John Gummer looks like Kermit the frog.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        January 18, 2018 1:49 pm

        But lacking his knowledge and intelligence.

  4. Philip Walling permalink
    January 17, 2018 5:29 pm

    I’m sure I read somewhere that Gummer has a financial interest in pushing all this green stuff. Is that true?

    He sounded a little anxious on R4 I thought, repeatedly reminding us that it is ‘law’ and it ‘must’ happen because the government has a ‘legal obligation’ to make it happen.

    Even if King Canute had been obliged by law to push back the tide he still wouldn’t have been able to do it.

    The terrible thing about all this is the almost complete omerta imposed by the BBC and all the bien pensants, politicians and the great and the good, on any dissenting evidence or scientific opinion.

    The political class has boxed itself into a corner by failing to challenge the ‘climate change scientists’. It is quite clear they are not going to be able to implement the Act they so foolishly passed with almost no dissenting voices. I suppose they think they’ll be long gone and drawing their pensions before the chickens come home to roost.

  5. Nowty permalink
    January 17, 2018 5:35 pm

    Not everyone at the BBC is the uncritical victim of the green blob. The internet-only BBC3 recently showed Into the Forest, a dystopian tale about the unpleasant consequences of power cuts.

  6. Ajax permalink
    January 17, 2018 5:45 pm

    Simples, really ! The Bollocks Broadcasting Co, John Bummer and Horridbin are all first class, ocean going & self interested morons. Well, aren’t they ?

    • catweazle666 permalink
      January 17, 2018 5:57 pm


      • John Palmer permalink
        January 17, 2018 7:43 pm

        And you can add potato-Ed Davey, little Timmy F and many others to that list.

      • martinbrumby permalink
        January 18, 2018 6:11 am

        Surely little Eddie Millipede cannot be forgotten?
        The venal twerp who had gormless Arts grad Bryony Worthington write the CCA and who pushed it through Parliament.
        I hope to urinate on his EdStone if I am spared…

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 18, 2018 1:51 pm

      The BBC has to protect the investments of its pension fund in green bollocks. I feel sorry for the ordinary decent people who work at the BBC who will be hit when the whole scam collapses while the wankerati do alright.

  7. Gamecock permalink
    January 17, 2018 5:59 pm

    ‘The government says the UK is cutting emissions faster than any other G7 nation’

    A source of great pride, I assume.

    And a surprise to the U.S.

    • AZ1971 permalink
      January 17, 2018 7:48 pm

      “And a surprise to the U.S.”
      Zing! Indeed, the U.S. has cut its emissions far more than any other nation on the planet.

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        January 17, 2018 9:15 pm

        With a resurgence in manufacturing in the USA and UK this may change. Manufacturing uses a disproportionate large amount of energy in relation to its contribution to GDP; especially if moving stuff around is taken into account.

      • January 17, 2018 10:15 pm

        I suspect they are looking at the cut in emissions as a proportion

  8. Ross King permalink
    January 17, 2018 7:05 pm

    Does Harrabin ***have*** any “critical faculties”???

    • January 18, 2018 5:08 pm

      Oh, I think he does – but imho they are perverted 🙂

      What characterises Mister Harrabin’s antics is a calculated slyness – people seem to overlook the fact that beyond his personal byline the Klimat Kommisar has a pan-BBC remit – not only to ensure meteorological rectitude across The World’s Best Broadcaster™ – he added Public Health to his quiver some time back and several public health related BBC feature articles bear the watermarks of his personal style – without a byline.

      Long past time that Harrabin was ensconced at ECIU, Carbon Brief, Greenpiece, Pew Trusts , FoE, WHO etc. – i.e. somewhere more tuned to his talents…

  9. John F. Hultquist permalink
    January 17, 2018 8:38 pm

    Of all the issues, one is solvable, namely:
    And if more EVs do appear on the road, where will the Treasury get the money from to replace lost revenue from fuel duty?

    Research and actual tests of measuring distance traveled and applying a mileage fee are underway in several places. Digital communications are up to this task. For example, a package was delivered to our rural mailbox and a message was sent — to where I have no idea — and that was followed by a posting on a web site that I checked a few minutes later. That informed me the package was placed into our mailbox at 4:14 P.M.

    GPS trip logging equipment is in many commercial vehicles, especially fleets, but not in personal cars. Seems they all have odometers, though.
    This will come. Keep track. Pay a fee.
    The development of a system will not be free, but will be part of progress.

    Of course none of this stuff will have an impact on Earth’s various climates, nor global warming. I’ve lost track of what the reasons are? Still, they keep at it.

  10. jim permalink
    January 17, 2018 10:00 pm

    Certain people will get very rich and certain politicians will get more power.
    That is the only explanation for the continuation of this.
    The rest of us will be poorer, colder, less able to be mobile, easier to control etc.
    Sounds and feels like a film of the old East Germany I was watching recently.
    Probably not an accidental coincidence.

  11. roger permalink
    January 17, 2018 11:05 pm

    In the meantime it is snowing yet again here in the north.
    It will be interesting to see when this winter ends just how many lying snow days have accumulated

  12. Mike Darby permalink
    January 18, 2018 8:09 am

    “It is the job of the BBC to fully and impartially report stories like this one, and not act as an echo chamber for the green lobby.“

    Is it not true that a decade or so ago a senior BBC committee decided that it should be policy never to broadcast anything detrimental to the warmist worldview?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 18, 2018 1:53 pm

      Yes, it was the result of the famous ’28gate’ gathering.

  13. Ian permalink
    January 18, 2018 9:23 am

    The same sort of thinking that brought us Grenfell Tower’s insulation is being applied in councils across the country. From a recent planning consent for an industrial building:

    “Prior to the occupation of development, details of a scheme to reduce the developments carbon dioxide emissions by at least 15% by using decentralised, renewable or low carbon energy sources or other appropriate design measures …”

    I’m still waiting to hear from the council; 15% of what?

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 18, 2018 1:56 pm

      I’ve noticed in the bollocks section of planning decisions that facility has to be provided to connect to a future district heating system is in most of them. As yet nobody has employed the dragon to provide it.

      • dennisambler permalink
        January 18, 2018 3:24 pm

        The dragon could be an incinerator, to burn all the plastic they want to tax…

  14. January 18, 2018 12:06 pm

    Carbon dioxide is a harmless trace gas essential to plant life. Fretting about it can solve nothing, least of all ‘climate change’.

  15. Jack Broughton permalink
    January 19, 2018 9:47 am

    Perhaps the law that morons run oxymoronic institutes is proven: “Independent Committee on Climate Change” and “Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit ” seem like good candidates to prove this hypothesis?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: