Skip to content

UK airports must shut to reach 2050 climate target

February 18, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t Keith Holland


UK airports must shut, says UK Govt backed research group:


All UK airports must close by 2050 for the country to reach its target of net zero climate emissions by then, scientists say.

LONDON, 18 February, 2020 − If it is to achieve its target of net zero climate emissions by 2050, all UK airports must close by mid-century and the country will have to make other drastic and fundamental lifestyle changes, says a report from a research group backed by the government in London.

With the UK due to host this year’s round of crucial UN climate talks in Glasgow in November, a group of academics has embarrassed the British government by showing it has currently no chance of meeting its own legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to nothing within 30 years.

Their report, Absolute Zero, published by the University of Cambridge, says no amount of government or public wishful thinking will hide the fact that the country will not reach zero emissions by 2050 without barely conceivable changes to policies, industrial processes and lifestyles. Its authors include colleagues from five other British universities.

All are members of a group from UK Fires, a research programme sponsored by the UK government, aiming to support a 20% cut in the country’s true emissions by 2050 by placing resource efficiency at the heart of its future industrial strategy. The report was paid for under the UK Fires programme.

As well as a temporary halt to flying, the report also says British people cannot go on driving heavier cars and turning up the heating in their homes.

The government, industry and the public, it says, cannot continue to indulge themselves in these ways in the belief that new technologies will somehow save them – everyone will have to work together change their way of life.

Because electric or zero-emission aircraft cannot be developed in time, most British airports will need to close by the end of this decade, and all flying will have to stop by 2050 until non-polluting versions are available.

Electrification of surface transport, rail and road, needs to be rapid, with the phasing out of all development of petrol and diesel cars immediately. Even if all private cars are electric, the amount of traffic will have to fall to 60% of 2020 levels by 2050, and all cars will have to be smaller.

The report also suggests that ships, currently heavy users of fossil fuels, need to convert to electric propulsion in order to allow for necessary imports and exports.

Not enough time

The reasoning behind the report is that technologies to cut greenhouse gas emissions, like carbon capture and storage, will not be developed in time and on a large enough scale to make a difference to emission reductions by 2050.

Nor is it any use exporting energy-intensive industries like steel-making, because the emissions will still take place abroad.

Instead, homegrown industries need to be developed that use no fossil fuels but are powered by electricity. The report says blast furnaces need to be phased out and replaced by existing technologies that recycle steel using renewable electricity.

It calls for public debate and discussion about the lifestyle changes that will be essential. Although such luxuries as flying away on holiday and driving large cars will have to be foregone, and eating beef and lamb curtailed, the scientists say that life could be just as rich as today.

They say: “… sports, social life, eating, hobbies, games, computing, reading, TV, music, radio, volunteering (and sleeping!) We can all do more of these without any impact on emissions”.

Offsets won’t work

They want the public to help by lobbying for airport closures, more trains, no new roads and more renewable electricity.

The report insists that the government should not try to hide any of its emissions by importing goods: “The UK is responsible for all emissions caused by its purchasing, including imported goods, international flights and shipping.”

Nor can there be any meaningful “carbon offsets.” The only short-term option we have of reducing emissions – at least by 2050 – is to plant trees. “Even a massive increase in forestry would only have a small effect compared to today’s emissions.”

The authors comment: “There are no invisible solutions to climate change. We urgently need to engage everyone in the process of delivering the changes that will lead to zero emissions.” − Climate News Network


And shutting airports will only be the start, according to the authors, who want barely conceivable changes to policies, industrial processes and lifestyles.

Car traffic must fall by 60%, eating of beef and lamb be curtailed, and a drastic cut in imported goods enforced as well, not just because of the imported emissions but also because of the shipping.

Nowhere in this ridiculous study is there any acknowledgement of the fact that the rest of the world will carry on as normal.

Of course, we’ll end up like North Korea, but that’s OK, because we can still listen to the radio, volunteer and sleep – all without increasing emissions. Indeed, we’ll probably have to stop in bed all day, just to keep warm in winter, when our wonderful renewable energy packs up.

What a fun life that will be!

All of this raises two points:

1) Why is the government giving good money to produce reports like this one?

2) The author of Climate News Network, who ran this piece is Paul Brown. He also happens to be a founding editor of Climate News Network, and is a former environment correspondent of The Guardian, and still writes columns for the paper.

Amazing how the alarmist merry-go-round works!

  1. Tonyb permalink
    February 18, 2020 10:14 pm

    They do realise that we are completely irrelevant and they should be addressing their concerns to China.? Well, good luck with that

  2. Saighdear permalink
    February 18, 2020 10:31 pm

    Really? we’ll get a good night’s sleep then? Great. When will they re-open 8am?

    Canna be right, must be a B I G Typo somewhere which the Proof readers haven’t picked up on. or MS Excel text format changed itself again

    • grammarschoolman permalink
      February 19, 2020 4:11 pm

      We won’t get a good night’s sleep in January if we can’t turn the heating on!

  3. GeoffB permalink
    February 18, 2020 10:42 pm

    The majority of people have no idea of what it will take to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050, the greens just tell them it has to be done to save the planet. The government has no idea either but we have the climate change act, law of the land, it has to be achieved.
    All these plans to ban sales of ice cars by 2035, eliminate gas heating and now this report to ban all flying are actually playing into the hands of climate deniers. Can you honestly see the population meekly accepting, no cars, no heat. no meat, no flying and probably no electricity.

    Even if we cannot convince people that climate change is natural and there is no emergency, we can highlight the inconvenience to them in implementing the climate change act.
    We should make sure that all these dystopian scenarios that academics are producing receive maximum publicity, they are actually much worse than than the mythical climate change would cause, if it were true.
    The other thing is that we would be alone maybe with Europe, in implementing these draconian measures. The rest of the world continues to prosper.

    • Broadlands permalink
      February 19, 2020 12:39 am

      “The reasoning behind the report is that technologies to cut greenhouse gas emissions, like carbon capture and storage, will not be developed in time and on a large enough scale to make a difference to emission reductions by 2050.”

      (1) CCS technology does NOT cut emissions. It geologically stores carbon emissions from the source or from the air. (2) Cutting emissions to net-zero does none of that. But it will create massive social and economic ‘inconveniences’ in world-wide transportation. It means increasing shortages and rationing of petroleum fuels for ICE vehicles. If that draconian action doesn’t get public attention, what will?

      • Mad Mike permalink
        February 19, 2020 2:49 pm

        “But it will create massive social and economic ‘inconveniences’ in world-wide transportation.”

        I beg to differ unless you mean the routes that pass through our air and sea space. The rest of the world will go about their business which of course would include much of what would have been ours. I was going to suggest that the UK would see a massive increase in tourism when lots of curious people would want to see how a great society elected to destroy it’s way of life in a futile gesture of virtue signalling but of course they could only reasonably get to Calais as onward movement would be an unrealistic prospect for most bar the most determined.

        Should be a great subject for psychological commentators.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 19, 2020 9:31 am

      Exactly. We want more of these reports. When people are told they have to cut driving by 60% and they will not be able to fly anywhere, they might wake up to the facts.

      • Saighdear permalink
        February 19, 2020 10:01 am

        Could someone REMIND US how it all went when we were to SHUT DOWN: 1. the British Motor Companies ( B.L. ) 2. Our Steel Industry 3. Our Coal Mines 4. Our Open Cast Mines (?) 5. Local Milk Dairy Processing Plants 6. Sugar Beet Processing in Scotland 7. Local Abattoirs in the wake of the F & M Outbreak. 8. Textile Industry etc.
        Were there great Marches in protest, etc ?
        Softly softly springs to mind – …..Meaning / implying the control over the population …

  4. Robert Christopher permalink
    February 18, 2020 10:43 pm

    This has been written in the style of Titania McGrath (the famous YouTube Intersectional Feminist Icon), with fact and logic spliced together so as to attract the attention of those dazed by the fast moving world that we live in that they have forgotten the importance of free speech.
    OTOH, I could be wrong. 🙂

  5. February 18, 2020 10:46 pm

    Surely they are being facetious/satirical no?

  6. February 18, 2020 10:55 pm

    THE biggest concern with such extreme fantasies like this advanced around ‘climate’ is that while even hardened Lefties and perhaps even the authors realise that this is extreme nonsense, it achieves two dangerous things:

    1. It normalises to the uneducated that there must be a ‘climate crisis’.

    Even more sinister …

    2. It sets a high bar that makes say, banning cattle completely the right thing to do and an acceptable step to ‘save the planet.’

    And the slippery-slope back to cave life ensues.

  7. cajwbroomhill permalink
    February 18, 2020 10:56 pm

    Why do both alarmists and UK politicians not see all this as insane?

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      February 19, 2020 9:33 am

      Who’s saying the politicians don’t?

      • cajwbroomhill permalink
        February 19, 2020 12:32 pm

        If they do see the insanity of decarb. they would have put our money where their mouths are!

  8. Nordisch geo-climber permalink
    February 18, 2020 11:02 pm

    It is worth pointing out regarding offsets, that in the time it takes to grow the smallish trees I am currently cutting down for firewood (20-30 years), CO2 in the atmosphere (both natural and the tiny part which is human) has been naturally sequestered twice.

    Of course the loonies will ban firewood soon, and oil, gas, meat, coal, sheep, cattle, wood, milk, people, everything. Orwell spotted it 80 years ago.

  9. February 18, 2020 11:07 pm

    Is it me, or has the green hysteria-lunacy ramped up exponentially since Boris won the GE? Something to do with his girlfriend?

    • Jackington permalink
      February 19, 2020 5:30 pm

      Yes – and his father.

  10. A G Foster permalink
    February 18, 2020 11:25 pm

    “Nor is it any use exporting energy-intensive industries like steel-making, because the emissions will still take place abroad.”

    “The report says blast furnaces need to be phased out and replaced by existing technologies that recycle steel using renewable electricity.”

    So windmills can no longer be imported, but must be manufactured on site while the wind blows. Well, maybe, but…

    “The report also suggests that ships, currently heavy users of fossil fuels, need to convert to electric propulsion in order to allow for necessary imports and exports.”

    Powering a ship’s screw by on board wind turbines doesn’t quite qualify as perpetual motion, but there are easier and more efficient ways to power ships by wind: sails. –AGF

  11. Alan permalink
    February 18, 2020 11:33 pm

    Sure glaf I moved yo sunny sensible Malaysia

  12. markl permalink
    February 19, 2020 12:49 am

    UK continues to be the climate crash test dummy…… on paper at least. They’ve already seriously hindered their manufacturing output by ruining metal smelting due to high energy costs and are on their way to make life miserable for everyday living. Let’s see how long the rush to energy suicide lasts before there’ s rioting in the streets.

  13. phil redding permalink
    February 19, 2020 1:21 am

    The politicians responsible for this nonsense will all have retired and living off a huge super payout and i suspect that is their main reason for not raising any objections. Keep your seat at all costs is all they care about.

  14. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    February 19, 2020 2:07 am

    I won’t still be around in 2050 to see what is done.
    First guess is to change the law.
    Shooting at the Moon with a Lee–Enfield rifle seems as silly.

  15. OldFogey permalink
    February 19, 2020 5:23 am

    Can anyone persuade Nigel Farage to re-purpose the Brexit party as the Climate Common Sense party, and recruit a body of like-minded candidates to stand at the next election. I reckon that by then a majority of voters will be so fed up with Green posturing, Labour irrelevance and Tory mismanagement that he will be a shoo-in.

    • cajwbroomhill permalink
      February 19, 2020 12:35 pm

      In the climate war, common sense and truth have been the first casualties and windmill sales men the beneficiarles

    • Gerry, England permalink
      February 19, 2020 2:02 pm

      To counter the green BS would require a person with knowledge and who does detail – which of course excludes the lightweight Farage who has never shown either.

  16. Graeme No.3 permalink
    February 19, 2020 5:57 am

    Just tell the young WOKE group that they must give up their mobile phones and internet as these use too much electricity.

    • Saighdear permalink
      February 19, 2020 9:54 am

      Tell the WOKE group? there’s such a Fog around them ( or is it Smell) – would be too dangerous to go near. They are so full of themselves to not understand the Dirty process of Electricity to understand how it’s made and USED etc.
      I A M W A N T I N G springs to mind with them – and they get it ” to keep the peace “

  17. February 19, 2020 6:39 am

    It must be April 1st. No real person could be as dumb as this Paul Brown and his band of “scientists”.

  18. Richard Jarman permalink
    February 19, 2020 6:49 am

    Can I suggest that we all write to the prime ministers more minister and asked who sanctioned this study and when will it be discussed in open forum

  19. StephenP permalink
    February 19, 2020 7:13 am

    So now we know what should be done at COP26!

    All delegates to arrive by electric/sail boats or trains, cars or on foot/bicycle.
    All accommodation and the conference centre to be heated to a maximum of 16C, only by electricity.
    All electricity to come from windmills and solar, after local hospitals/schools/homes and transport systems have had their requirements met.
    Earth closets only, at the conference centre.
    No wi-fi or internet links to be installed specially for the conference.
    All food served to be vegan, all grown locally to reduce food miles. No imported ingredients.
    They will enjoy the diet of vegan haggis, neeps and potatoes, and maybe a vegan clootie dumpling, but will be allowed to drink plenty of whisky to wash it down.
    No money to be wasted on extra security as it should not be necessary since we know what gentle peace-loving people these activists are.
    You just had to see the demonstrations in London and Cambridge to realise that.
    Welcome to Scotland!

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      February 19, 2020 9:10 am

      Now that would be virtue signalling.

    • Saighdear permalink
      February 19, 2020 9:47 am

      You’re a genius!
      I am hearing more and more about Contractors not being allowed on site unless they have the latest ( NEW) machinery to comply with EU emissions. – That’s how to keep costs up and keep out the Wee Guy who wants to work hard and climb the ladder. Then as in yesterday’s News – You cannot claim Expenses from some firms if you have NOT had a Vegetarian Meal – ie if a Meat included meal is part of the Expense.
      In other words, through the back door, Britain is becoming a CLOSED SHOP to non ( Enviro religion) Club members.

    • jack broughton permalink
      February 19, 2020 10:16 am

      I think that you may have saved the UK £ 240 – 400 m by this if it is taken up by Nicola of course. Vegan haggis is as weird as vegan sausage rolls! I just hope that we have a cold November with little wind!

  20. Adamsson66 permalink
    February 19, 2020 7:35 am

    Of course we won’t meet the target no one ever thought about meeting the target. Teresa May was already on the way out and new for certain that she wouldn’t be in office. Nor will Boris Johnson so they can set the target show their virtue safe in knowledge someone else will get the blame for not meeting the target.

  21. HotScot permalink
    February 19, 2020 8:17 am

    This is, of course, the objective. They won’t actually close the airports, but along with electric cars they will introduce electric aeroplanes.

    They will only be able to carry a handful of passengers because of all the batteries needed to hop skip and jump between successive, neighbouring airports because of range restrictions.

    The cost of ‘clean’ flying will therefore skyrocket so only the extraordinarily wealthy or the political elite will be able to afford flights.

    You could, if you want, sail to your destination but they will resurrect a fleet of Tea Clippers which will be prohibitively expensive as well, unless you work as a deck hand.

    The future is clear folks, and there’s little place for we plebs in it.

    • In the Real World permalink
      February 19, 2020 11:12 am

      I did a back of envelope calc on electric aircraft .
      A 737 , which is a lot more fuel efficient than earlier aircraft , uses 750 Gals an hour average , so on a transatlantic flight would need 7500 gallons on board .
      That works out at 300,000 KWh of energy .
      Ignoring the fact that a jet engine is not quite so energy efficient as an electric motor , but would make up the difference by flying higher & quicker than an electric prop or fan aircraft , the electric aircraft would need 3000 100 KWh batteries . Which at 500 Kg each , means 1500 tons of batteries .

      As they say , it will never get off the ground .

    • StephenP permalink
      February 19, 2020 12:51 pm

      Don’t forget that many of the famous tea clippers were either lost with no survivors or wrecked.
      Look up the fate of tea clipper Ariel.

  22. February 19, 2020 8:44 am

    hmmm, the climate message is not getting through, the EU lost a WTO case against the US for subsidising their aircraft industry.

    Airports ain’t gonna close.

  23. February 19, 2020 9:05 am

    a group of academics has embarrassed the British government

    No, they embarrassed themselves and made Cambridge University a laughing stock, that’s all.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      February 19, 2020 3:03 pm

      To be fair to the Cambridge group, they have come up with honest answers. To get to zero carbon by 2050 will demand a huge change for industry and people. Its good to get the truth out there rather than let the situation get worse and worse by stealth. I don’t expect their findings will get much publicity but it gives ammunition to our side. Just keep referring to this with quotes every time you comment on CC articles in MSM.

  24. Tony Budd permalink
    February 19, 2020 9:07 am

    At least that’s Heathrow expansion sorted…

  25. Adrian, East Anglia permalink
    February 19, 2020 9:09 am

    I find it rather amusing that the report has been published by Cambridge University, a member of the UK Fires collaborative research group, while the shouting and drum- beating XR vandals consider it valid action to commit blatant criminal damage by digging up Trinity College lawn. Bit of an own goal in my opinion!

    • keith holland permalink
      February 19, 2020 10:32 am

      That’s why I’m not bothered the Trinity lawn was dug up. Cambridge Uni is full of reds. Sauce for the goose!

  26. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 19, 2020 9:30 am

    The government should give more money to reports like this – the absurd end stuff aside, this is at least realistic.

    Zero net carbon will mean all that they say. The more people say it the better.

    Where they are completely wrong however is their Utopian vision of us all having a lovely time. There will be mass unemployment, food rationing and real, actual austerity. It will make the Great Depression look like the best of times.

  27. stewart-j permalink
    February 19, 2020 9:37 am

    It is unfortunate that the authors, after so much hard work, messed up their date of publication and missed 1st April.

  28. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 19, 2020 9:46 am

    Daft electric planes aside that will only ever serve short hops, the aviation industry will try/is switching to bio-fuels to claim carbon neutrality – but as with the EU road fuel bio mandate, where crazily the %mix in road fuel was recently upped, it is indisputably that this actually increases CO2 emissions overall (land use change etc.). Could be 3 times worse, apparently.

  29. Ariane permalink
    February 19, 2020 9:51 am

    Poverty and death for the ordinary folk. As desired by Limits to Growth in the 1970s and Maurice Strong a bit later. Unelected wealthy power-crazed mad people. Nothing to do with saving the planet.

  30. Steve permalink
    February 19, 2020 10:06 am

    This lot seem to be even more bonkers than the Climate Change Committee. They, at least, propose BECCS in order to allow aircraft to use kerosene. They just plant biofuels everywhere, burn them for electricity and stuff the devil gas down under the North Sea. Then the planes and the plants balance out. Why not use the devil gas to grow vegetables in greenhouses and humans could eat them? But then they would breathe it out. Best idea is to let all the zealots die of hypothermia and end the emergency for good.

  31. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 19, 2020 10:07 am

    Another sane voice linked from GWPF twitter.

  32. Up2snuff permalink
    February 19, 2020 10:27 am

    As I have posted before, elsewhere if not on here, these mentalistEnviros do not really understand what Carbon NetZero means. Even if you stop all human life, Earth’s CO2 levels will still increase as Paul gets close to hinting at in his above response to the study paper.

    I listened courtesy of BBC R4 to an aircraft manufacturer who had pledged to become Carbon NetZero by a future date. The BBC interviewer did not ask but clearly inferred by said spokesman was that component suppliers to the manufacturer would bear the burden of Carbon MinusZero on the supply side and on the customer side it would be down to airlines, individual passengers and Governments to achieve Carbon MinusZero and then the airline could boldly claim at a future date: “We have achieved our goal of becoming Carbon neutral while continuing to manufacture aircraft.”

  33. Nicholas Lewis permalink
    February 19, 2020 11:03 am

    The report says it was published on 29th November 2019 so was it withheld due to general election purdah?

    It got £5.1m of funding from 1/4/19 to March 24 and it was supposed to be researching

    “Locating Resource Efficiency at the heart of Future Industrial Strategy in the UK” according to its remit so why has its broaden its remit so much!

    The report spells doom and gloom but the whole point of there research was to avoid the doomsday scenario. Who holds the EPSRC accountable for ensuring the grant is spent on the right things?

  34. Robert Christopher permalink
    February 19, 2020 11:17 am

    This paper, Absolute Zero, is a very good effort to provide a starting point for discussing how we can reach this (impossible 🙂 ) goal of Zero Emissions for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
    Until now, we have had a multitude of well argued posts on many sites, and even a few articles, but then they are forgotten, and a short time later we get another article, with the same points presented, and then after a while we get another burst of solid, well argued, prose, yet it is to no effect.
    I have spoken to people on this subject who I thought were intelligent, generally well informed and had their fair share of common sense, yet they follow the BBC agenda. I did find few enlightened people whilst on holiday, with one telling ME it was beyond ridiculous, but they were engineers (real engineers, not technicians, ecologists, environmentalists or PPE graduates, or actresses 🙂 ) so what better than to take what we know and work logically through to the end as they have done with this paper, and present it to the nation and confront the opposition. And show them that is impossible.
    You will see that they start with facts and Alarmist wishes and end up with delusional conclusions: what else can they do when the Alarmists are void of the basic understanding of reality. For example:
    “Leisure, sports, creative arts and voluntary work: These sectors can expand greatly and should have a central position in national definitions of welfare targets.
    Electricity sector and infrastructure: Absolute Zero requires a 3x expansion in non-emitting electricity generation, storage, distribution and load-balancing.
    Construction sector: All new builds should be to zero-energy standards of use. The impacts of construction are primarily about the use of materials: primarily steel and cement. By 2050, we will have only very limited cementitious material and will use only recycled steel, but there are myriad opportunities for radical reductions in the amount of material used in each construction.
    Steel sector: All exsiting forms of blast furnace production, which are already under great pressure due to global over-capacity, are not compatible with zero-emissions.
    However, recycling powered by renewables, has tremedous opportunities for growth exploiting the fact that steel scrap supply will treble in the next 30 years.
    There are short term innovation opportunities related to delivering the highest quality of steel from recycling, and longer-term opportunities for technologies for zero-carbon steel making from ore that could be deployed after 2050.
    Cement sector: All existing forms of cement production are incompatible with zero emissions. However, there are some opportunities for expanded use of clay and urgent need to develop alternative processes and materials. Using microwaves processes to recycle used cement appears promising.”

    It only filling in some detail, joining the dots, highlighting what visitors to this site already know.

    (Please let this be so!)

  35. keith holland permalink
    February 19, 2020 1:13 pm

    I think the report has painted a very good picture of a Carbon Free picture for the country in 2050. But it goes seriously wrong on two aspects – one, how it will be achieved and two, the impact on people post 2050.
    First, there is no way renewable electrical energy can be increased 3 fold in thirty years. For a start they want to stop using cement, so how will the windmill bases be built with their sixty foot foundations. Transport cannot be converted to all electric in that time. There aren’t even any electric trucks yet and the buses employed in Germany cannot go up hills. There are lots more holes in the report’s reasoning, which would be boring to go into.
    Two, the main issue has to be what the country would look like post 2050. There will be mass unemployment, so no money for the good things they say we will have for social activities. This country has no been able to feed itself on home grown goods for over a hundred years or so. So there be food rationing and probably starvation. I also cannot see the whole population willingly becoming vegetarian. There will be power rationing, so a massive increase in cold weather deaths in the winter. The trains are already at capacity, so how will rail transport be able to handle the massive increase in people and goods movement?
    What I see is massive rioting in the streets, which will make the Poll Tax riots a few years ago, look like a garden party.
    I am afraid the idiots in Government and these idiot academics have no idea what they are really launching on the country. This country will no be a nice place to be if it all goes ahead.

    • Robert Christopher permalink
      February 19, 2020 2:14 pm

      Aren’t they just pointing out what needs to be done? They are filling in some detail, which is a pre-step to working out what to do, and then how to do it, if we can!
      The problem that we have had is that the Alarmists want electric cars but won’t allow mining to produce the components for the cars. Apparently, bin lorries expend too much energy squashing the rubbish so they can’t finish their round. How will refrigerated lorries get to their destination, and will ambulances be out of action while their batteries are recharged?
      Without explicitly specifying scenarios that look to us as unaddressed, we will drift towards an expensive confusion and failure.
      Boris wants Zero Emissions, yet the Heathrow expansion is waiting for the go-ahead. This paper points out some of the problems, to inform the public.

      • Robin Guenier permalink
        February 19, 2020 4:30 pm

        By ‘pointing out what needs to be done’ they are in effect demonstrating that it’s impossible. As Paul Brown says in the above article, ‘no amount of government or public wishful thinking will hide the fact that the country will not reach zero emissions by 2050 without barely conceivable changes to policies, industrial processes and lifestyles. In other words, I think they’ve published a report that’s intended to show the Government that it’s making an absurd mistake. (And if that wasn’t their intention, it’s certainly what the report does). For example, Part 1.3 of the report (headed ‘Zero emissions in the UK in 2020’) notes that ‘two critical forms of equipment that cannot be electrified with known technology are aeroplanes and ships.‘ It goes on to say that ‘all flying must be phased out by 2050‘ and ‘all ship-based trade must be phased out by 2050‘. Can they seriously believe that makes any sense?

        Most of the report’s recommendations don’t really bite for several years. But, re aviation, the report sets out a very specific short-term (by 2029) requirement:

        All airports except Heathrow, Glasgow and Belfast close with transfers by rail

        Possible within nine years? I don’t think so.

      • A man of no rank permalink
        February 19, 2020 5:36 pm

        The 4 new steel ships Brittany Ferries are ready to launch will be called Galicia, Salamanca, Santona and Hornfleur. All 4 will run on Liquified Natural Gas which “offers significant environmental advantages”.
        Does Europe/France also have a future zero carbon (dioxide) date?

  36. Mad Mike permalink
    February 19, 2020 3:57 pm

    There is an upside to their version of the future, homes will be colder so it will be attractive to go to the pub where we can at least keep warm with other people’s body heat and get some alcoholic solace.. There is a flaw in my optimism of course. What they haven’t dared mention is that the brewing industry will need to close as fermentation produces CO2. We’d better get our quota in now.

    • Robert Christopher permalink
      February 19, 2020 5:01 pm

      What about leven bread: will than be outlawed?

      • Mad Mike permalink
        February 19, 2020 5:26 pm

        If it’s vegan it’ll get a pass.

  37. grammarschoolman permalink
    February 19, 2020 4:10 pm

    Hi Paul,

    You might be interested in this (not entirely dissimilar) piece from today’s Unherd. Apparently, everyone who contributes to this site, is either Bad or much worse. Perhaps we should co-opt it as a badge of honour.



    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      February 19, 2020 8:08 pm

      Franklin was always trying to promote the wackiest of ideas when he wrote for Conservativehome. Not out of place as a Cummings advisor, of the kind you wouldn’t want anywhere near levers of power.

  38. Jackington permalink
    February 19, 2020 5:41 pm

    As a list of the problems facing the government in order to achieve zero CO2 emissions by 2050, this report is spot on – not a load of rubbish. Regular readers of this blog will know already what the problems are and that it simply will never happen. The biggest absurdity is, when we do reach zero CO2 nothing will grow and we will all die of starvation anyway.

  39. Robert Christopher permalink
    February 19, 2020 5:42 pm

    BINGO? 🙂


    • Jackington permalink
      February 19, 2020 8:02 pm

      But Heathrow must be shut … and Gatwick, please try and keep up!

  40. February 19, 2020 9:29 pm

    It is good when people see the changes they are about to face And it’s very good if mental pictures are stark. In the end, that’s what the alarmists work with. Stark contrasts, just that their contrasts are based on fake information while the changes that people will have to face rather soon will be all too real. It would also be good to show people what their personal contribution shall be – in money terms. Such as “so much will be expropriated in additional taxes, fees and other levies from you”. People tend to think again when they see their material well-being eroded.

  41. David Virgo permalink
    February 20, 2020 11:45 am

    I note a letter in today’s DT signed by 20 of the great and good involved in developing self- drive technology that “With investment today, connected vehicles could make journeys more efficient and help achieve the net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions goal by the end of this year.”
    That’s alright then. What are we worried about?

  42. Ian Miller permalink
    February 21, 2020 11:33 am

    Thank goodness I’m 77. I’ll be gone soon.
    Who on earth would want to live here?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: