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Theresa May’s Climate Plans Will Cost Us All Dear

June 24, 2019

By Paul Homewood


With Parliament about to wave through the amendment to the Climate Change Act, legislating for zero emissions by 2050, here is my summary published by Breitbart last week:


Desperate to leave a ‘legacy’ for her disastrous premiership, Theresa May has decided to bring in a legally binding Net Zero climate target, which forces the UK to eliminate all emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050.

Currently, the Climate Change Act already commits us to reduce emissions to 20 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050.

According to her own Chancellor, Philip Hammond, her plan will cost £1 trillion. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), who drafted the plan last month, put the annual cost at £50bn by 2050, equivalent to £1,800 for every household in the country, so the real cost could turn out to be even more.

To many people, such large numbers have little meaning, and 2050 seems a long way away.

But what will May’s plans actually mean for ordinary people in practical terms?

The Climate Change Act has, of course, already imposed massive costs on us since it was introduced in 2008. Subsidies for renewable energy will cost £12.2bn this year, according to official figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility. This equates to £450 per household.

These subsidies will remorselessly increase in years to come, as more renewable projects come on stream, not to mention the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

But the electricity sector only accounts for a fifth of total emissions. Natural gas used in homes for heating and cooking also accounts for another fifth. To eliminate these, the CCC want us to scrap our central heating boilers and replace them with extremely expensive heat pump systems, which run on electricity.

Heat pumps can cost well over £10,000 to install, as well as costing more to run than conventional gas systems. The CCC doesn’t say how ordinary householders will be expected to afford such enormous sums.

Worse still, heat pumps are ineffective in really cold weather and would also put impossible demands on the electricity grid at peak periods in winter. To address this problem, they propose that we also burn hydrogen instead of gas.

To do this though, the CCC estimates that it will cost up to £4,000 per household to convert appliances and upgrade pipework for hydrogen.

The hydrogen will be produced by steam reforming, which uses natural gas as a feedstock, but also produces carbon dioxide in the process, which then needs to be captured and stored. (Yes, I know, you couldn’t make it up!).

As a result of all of this unnecessary processing, the resulting hydrogen will cost twice as much as the gas used at the outset, in terms of units of energy.

All in all, the CCC reckon that the replacement of gas with heat pumps and hydrogen will cost households £28bn a year, more than £1,000 each. To meet their 2050 targets, the CCC expects all of this to have started well before 2030.

Transport accounts for another third of emissions, so the CCC wants all new car sales to be pure electric after 2030. Note that even hybrids won’t be allowed. This demonisation of petrol and diesel cars is already having an effect on the UK car industry, with Honda pulling out completely.

The CCC doesn’t offer any advice on what they are supposed to do to the eight million drivers who don’t have off-street parking and therefore cannot charge up at home at night. In addition, 200,000 new public chargers will have to be installed for use away from home.

Electric cars will place huge new demands on the electricity grid, with peak demand expected to rise by 40 GW as a result, nearly doubling current demand. This is the equivalent of thirteen extra Hinkley Points. And it is not only more generating capacity that will be needed, as transmission and local distributions must be upgraded to cope with the extra power.

Industry won’t get away scot-free either. Higher energy costs and the obligation to eradicate all emissions will impose substantial cost burdens, which even the CCC accept could lead to offshoring of industry to countries abroad, rather making the whole idea pointless.

And all of this for what? The UK only accounts for 1% of the world’s emissions, which last year alone rose by 2%. No other country is going down this path, and the Paris Agreement actually allows developing countries, such as China and India, to carry on massively increasing emissions.

The dreadful May is keen to display her green credentials and kowtow to anti-capitalist eco-extremists. But if she wants to go down that route, she should at least have the courage to tell the public just how much her deluded dreams are going to cost us all.

  1. Gas Geezer permalink
    June 24, 2019 10:30 pm

    Wind turbines now cheapest form of electricity according to Sky news today. There’s no escape from this nonsense.

    • June 24, 2019 11:00 pm

      Yes, you can’t even give it away sometimes when demand is low and wind is high. But that’s probably not what Sky was thinking – if they were thinking at all 😆

  2. ianprsy permalink
    June 24, 2019 10:59 pm

    Tonight on the BBC, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall continued his war against plastic.

    In the frame was Ineos, who had the audacity to import gas, FRACKED GAS no less, to make the detested substance. We don’t need gas, fracked or otherwise, it appears, because we don’t need plastic. It won’t be long before the eco-warriors bring production to a halt.
    Watch this space.

    Then there was Tesco, who have the temerity to offer a dozen different varieties of tomato, all plastic-wrapped, of course. No mention of wastage or hygiene issues, naturally.

    I remember the late 40s/early 50s (just), with milk being delivered by horse and cart (bring your own jug) and bread in uncut, unwrapped loaves. I think we’re headed back there but, then again, I don’t think the school run generation will stand for it.

    • Ian Johnson permalink
      June 25, 2019 9:30 am

      Maybe wind turbine blades are manufactured from politically correct plastic.

      • Malcolm Skipper permalink
        June 25, 2019 1:14 pm

        Yep, after all the CO2 from my car ends up in plants so I make no contribution to increasing atmospheric levels – just like the electricity at the greenies’ sockets comes from renewables: a bit dim at the moment as fossil fuels are supplying 54% of the NG output. Ha! Ha! 🙂

  3. NorfolkSceptic permalink
    June 24, 2019 11:00 pm

    How can Theresa May decide ‘to bring in a legally binding Net Zero climate target, which forces the UK to eliminate all emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050’ when she is a caretaker PM?

  4. MrGrimNasty permalink
    June 24, 2019 11:09 pm

    I read today an estimated trial cost to insulate old housing stock was £150K per property, but they expect it to half!!! The tax payer/house owner (same thing – us) will have to pay with no prospect of ever recouping this ‘investment’ in their lifetime through energy bill savings.

    I Don’t understand the MSM. They go on about economic damage from Brexit, and Tory cuts/austerity, even Corbyn’s scary property owner envy ideas – CGT on main home, IHT changes, higher council tax (under a new name), all so severe that the owner will end up living in their house but end up signing it over to the state I expect. But the MSM firmly ignores this climate nonsense which has exactly the same aims as Corbyn (state seizure of all land/property) and will cost us all vastly more than the worst Brexit project fear case etc.

  5. Pancho Plail permalink
    June 24, 2019 11:10 pm

    I’m confused. The government seems to believe the Extinction Rebellion loonies who tell us we have 12 years (actually 11.5 now) to save the planet, so the government comes up with a 30 year plan.

    • ianprsy permalink
      June 24, 2019 11:24 pm

      Good point! With any luck, though, it’ll be less than 12 years before they realise how stupid they’ve been.

  6. bobn permalink
    June 25, 2019 1:20 am

    Off subject but here is a good critique of some fake climate alarm science.

  7. Gamecock permalink
    June 25, 2019 2:34 am

    ‘Theresa May has decided to bring in a legally binding Net Zero climate target, which forces the UK to eliminate all emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050.’

    This American doesn’t understand how May can legally bind anything. There’s nothing she can do that the next PM can’t undo. There’s nothing Parliament can do that the next Parliament can’t undo.

    N’est-ce pas?

    • dave permalink
      June 25, 2019 9:37 am

      ” N’est-ce pas? ”

      Mais oui.

      But it moves the starting point, in any future argument, if there is already something on the
      Statute Book. The argument is already largely lost. The idea is in the head of the people.

      One is reminded of what Cardinal Wolsley said to Thomas Cromwell, about Henry VIII:

      “Never put anything into that head, because you will never get it out again!”

      Having incurred implacable hatred from the obsessive Henry, Wolsley expired in the nick of time, but Cromwell died of another sort of nick from Henry!

    • bobn permalink
      June 25, 2019 1:52 pm

      Yes. Its difficult to undo damage that’s enacted. Trump still hasn’t undone all the climate alarm damage done to the USA by Obama. He’s made some progress but the US EPA is still fighting against him with their demented democrat friends.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      June 25, 2019 1:56 pm

      The only general rule is that legislation can’t be backdated to make something that was legal before this legislation comes into effect illegal. Of course conditions can be applied by the later legislation. Nothing that is done by a government can’t be undone by a subsequent one. Examples are that it will continue to be legal to own and drive a normal car after 2030 but you just can’t buy a new one, and they then hope to make it so expensive and awkward to use one that people will dump them.

  8. June 25, 2019 5:54 am

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  9. Ian wilson permalink
    June 25, 2019 7:58 am

    I see the government is giving £100 million to help British wind turbine builders become more competitive. Now let’s consider why they aren’t competitive. Could it be because they have to pay high energy costs? – to subsidise wind turbines! The steel industry crippled by high energy costs would have been a more worthy recipient.

    Off topic, I heard a Legal & General spokeswoman proudly telling us on the radio how they are putting pressure on companies in which they invest “to do more about climate change”.

    Presumably if the companies do as bidden they will end up paying even more for their energy, profits will fall and share prices drop. I wonder how L & G investors or pension holders will feel about a move which will diminish their funds.

  10. Robin Guenier permalink
    June 25, 2019 8:07 am

    The motion put before Parliament yesterday concluded with this note:

    A full impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument.

    It’s useful therefore to recall the Impact Assessment – signed off by Ed Miliband – relating to the original 2008 legislation:

    There’s a lot to note here. For example, the first of “the policy objectives and intended effects” was “To avoid dangerous climate change in an economically sound way.” This was to be achieved in particular by:

    Demonstrating the UK’s leadership in tackling climate change – to increase the chances of a binding international emissions reduction agreement that would stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases at a level that would avoid dangerous climate change.

    The Act has totally failed to achieve that objective: it was passed over 10 years ago, but no such “binding agreement” has been achieved or seems likely to be achieved. As a result GHG emissions, 32 bn. tons in 2008, have risen to 37 bn. in 2017 – an increase of 16%. Yet our legislators seem determined to double down on this ineffective and ruinously expensive policy.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      June 25, 2019 12:56 pm

      I’m slightly puzzled as to how you “avoid climate change” (in an economically sound way or otherwise) by “demonstrating … leadership”. The two don’t belong in the same room. But then I was only ever a “languages” man. What would I know?

      What I do know is that I am getting heartily sick of politicians who spend more of their time on vanity projects, virtue-signalling and their “legacies” than in acting in the best interests of the people they represent. Bunch of useless Cnuts. The difference is that the original Cnut was trying to show up his hangers-on for the grovelling cretins they were. Now it’s the cretins who are in charge and have totally missed the point. They genuinely believe they can succeed where the King failed.

      As for Deben and his climate cronies … as the saying goes, “they really must have seen us coming!”

      • Gamecock permalink
        June 25, 2019 8:52 pm

        But Michael, they NEVER DEFINE CLIMATE CHANGE!

        Only the High Priests know what it means.

  11. dunc permalink
    June 25, 2019 8:27 am

    One feature of the UKs democracy is the ability of future governments to repeal legislation.
    No government is bound by previous governments.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      June 25, 2019 10:24 am

      No government is able to govern any more, it’ll end up in the courts and/or frustrated by the ‘deep state’ – or whatever the UK equivalent is.

      Revoking any climate regulations will be impossible – just like implementing Brexit

  12. europeanonion permalink
    June 25, 2019 8:37 am

    Margaret Thatcher started the ball rolling here but by 2003 she had digested the full nine yards and came to the opinion, on seeing the monster she had spawned, as a“marvellous excuse for supra-national socialism,” and accusing Al Gore of “apocalyptic hyperbole.” Unfortunately the Genie is out of the bottle and socialism, as we know, will do anything to groom public opinion. As Jonathan Meades once proclaimed about such people, “They want you to be like them and to be grateful to them.” In the face of such proselytising there is no room for facts, graphs and measurement. The world has gone mad but only rhetorically.

  13. dennisambler permalink
    June 25, 2019 9:09 am

    Congratulations Paul, on your higher profile and getting this into Breitbart. I will send it to my Conservative, Extinction Rebellion entertaining, St Greta worshipping MP. I will urge him to read it, whether he will is another matter entirely.

    • Henning Nielsen permalink
      June 25, 2019 9:17 am

      Support that!

    • keith permalink
      June 25, 2019 11:06 am

      You are assuming he/she can read!

  14. Henning Nielsen permalink
    June 25, 2019 9:15 am

    Congratulations, and enjoy! The British have appearently accepted all this, so be happy to foot the bill for it. Qui tacet consentire videtur. A Climate Saviour Badge for every household.

  15. June 25, 2019 9:48 am

    The average global power consumption argument gets little mention, but it should kill this kind of unilateral suicide.

    In broad brush numbers, the current average global power consumption is 10,000 GW, with electricity around 2,500 GW. The number of days till 2050 is also around 10,000. Thus, to get to zero emissions at 2050 there has to be a 1 GW zero-carbon “power station” built … on EVERY DAY TILL 2050… including extensive storage to cope with intermittency.

    • June 25, 2019 12:14 pm

      For people more familiar with Toe (tonne of oil equivalent), 1 toe per year = 1325 watts. BP and others give global energy consumption at around 10 billion toe per year = 13,250 GW, a small part of which is already “zero-carbon”.

  16. Kelvin Vaughan permalink
    June 25, 2019 9:53 am

    Found an informative piece of history in the Met office archive on the UK from AD 84 to AD 1582. Same old weather as today. Lots of death and even a sink hole in London’s Cheapside swallowing up many houses.

  17. Green Sand permalink
    June 25, 2019 10:07 am

    Not much to be gained asking a compulsive liar to be honest

  18. June 25, 2019 11:20 am

    “More than 45 years after scientists first warned about global warming, we’re finally stirring from a collective complacency.

    The old argument over whether humans are responsible for climate change is done. It’s over.

    Now the debate is about how quickly we need to act to save the planet as we know it.”

    The irony? Sky News Mission Statement
    “We aim to be the best and most trusted place for news. Made by people who dare to challenge. Made for people who want clarity in an uncertain world. We take you to the heart of the stories that shape our world.”

  19. June 25, 2019 12:24 pm

    When will people realise that any CO2 reduction policy should also be seen in a longer-term context:
    • The modern short pulse of beneficial Global warming stopped 20 years ago and recent global temperatures are now stable or declining.
    • According to reliable Ice Core records the last millennium 1000 – 2000 AD was the coldest of our current Holocene interglacial and the world had already been cooling quite rapidly since before Roman times, in fact since ~1000 BC.
    • At 11,000 years old, our Holocene interglacial, responsible for all man-kind’s advances, from living in caves to microprocessors, is coming its end.
    • The weather gets worse in colder times.
    • The world will very soon, (on a geological time scale), revert to a true glaciation, again resulting in mile high ice sheets over New York.

    The prospect of even moving in a cooling direction is something to be truly scared about, both for the biosphere and for man-kind.

    Spending any effort, let alone GDP scale costs, trying to stop the UK’s 1% of something that has not been happening for 3 millennia seems monumentally stupid.

    • Colin Brooks permalink
      June 25, 2019 2:22 pm

      I can not flaw your arguments apart from saying that although it is likely that we return to a period of glaciation, it is not yet certain. I guess we continue to watch the progress towards a new low solar minimum ^.^

  20. Colin Brooks permalink
    June 25, 2019 2:26 pm

    Not seen yet in mainstream media: it seems that a UK company has invented a new, biodegradable form of plastic. The EU wanted to be certain that there were no toxic remnants and started tests. The story then is that the tests looked good but the EU stopped the tests before the results could be published.

    • June 25, 2019 3:18 pm

      The EU are chomping on the bit to follow the UK into economic irrelevance, so the company should just go elsewhere for customers.

  21. June 25, 2019 6:51 pm

    I think the government estimate of £1000 for a heat pump comes from clerk sucking the end of his/her pencil. A better assessment would be: £6 to £8000 for a simple air sourced unit with £10,000 plus for ground source. All depending on the capacity required.

    I gather that no overall assessment has been made for the proposal to target zero emissions. I cannot conceive how any MP of intelligence could vote for this without such an assessment being made and thoroughly validitated in public debate.
    However the Westminster Parliament has a track record of nodding through legislation oblivious of the consequences. Witness the original Climate Change Act in 2008.

    Snake oil politics comes to mind

    • June 25, 2019 7:59 pm

      No, it is £10,000

      The CCC reckoned on about £9000 for a semi, but this did not include extra insulation, which most homes would need

  22. June 25, 2019 10:00 pm

    Mae Culpa. Thanks for that.
    Mae Culpa. Thanks for that. Still just wonder how the overall cost per household is given as £1800.
    (Hope I have got that right)

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