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£32bn? Cheap At The Price, Says Harrabin!

December 9, 2020

By Paul Homewood


Harrabin thinks £32bn is cheap!!




A landmark report says the UK can make major cuts to carbon emissions more cheaply than previously thought.

The Climate Change Committee says that, for less than 1% of national wealth, the UK can reduce 78% of emissions by 2035, based on 1990 levels.

This brings forward the UK’s clean energy timetable by 15 years – a previously unimaginable leap.

The report says the low costs for the transformation are due to new clean technologies also being more efficient.

The authors say people can play their part by eating less red meat, curbing flying, driving less and installing low-carbon heating.

They estimate the costs of the low-carbon revolution will scale up to an annual £50bn by 2030 from around $10bn today, with most being private investment.

By 2030, they estimate that some of these costs will be offset by fuel savings of £18bn.

CCC members say the targets proposed for the UK’s “carbon budget” period of 2033-2035 are definitely achievable, so long as the government moves urgently.

The advisory body says the shift to electric vehicles will prove cheaper than sticking with petrol cars because the former is about three times more efficient.

That means the government may need to claw back tax income by imposing pay-as-you-drive schemes.

But the committee warns that ministers will need to shield the poorest in society.

It will cost, for instance, an average of £10,000 to insulate a home and install low-carbon heating such as heat pumps. The report says the government must find £3-4bn a year to support households make the transition.



This is one of those reports where you don’t know whether to cry or cry!

Harrabin may think £32bn a year is a bargain, but that equates to £1185 for every home in the country. And even that figure is based on the highly dubious assumption that drivers will save £18bn a year on fuel by driving electric cars.

We have already seen that those who will rely on public chargers won’t save a penny, indeed they will almost certainly be worse off. And the calculation also assumes that the price of EVs reaches parity with ICEs by 2030.

And all of this is just the annual cost by 2035, when we are aiming for a cut in emissions of 78%. The CCC themselves have already admitted that the cost of going from this level of cut to Net Zero will be much greater.

I’ll be looking more closely at the CCC’s proposals in coming days.

  1. John Palmer permalink
    December 9, 2020 10:40 am

    This ‘great news’ was so important that I notice Cardinal Horribin posted it onto the BBC News website in the very early hours this AM!
    Celebrate with him – we’re only going to be absolutely skint, not horrendously, absolutely skint. Joy unbounded!
    What a shower they all are…..

    • tom0mason permalink
      December 9, 2020 7:26 pm

      Currently the UK national debt is at about £2 TRILLION and is growing at a rate of about £5,000 per second! Note that the UK’s pre-COVID GDP was about £2.15 Trillion, currently it is much less and likely to stay depressed for quite some time.
      This debt figure will only increase, along a more or less exponential rate, unless the entire mechanism of Government finance is overhauled. The truth however is much worse, factoring in all liabilities including state and public sector pensions, the real national debt is closer to £4.4 trillion or about £70,000 for every person in the UK.

      The UK governments (it started at the end of the Cameron/Osborne era) doesn’t seem to worry about this at all, is any body else worried by this huge burden that the UK government has taken on for us tax payers? Will they just do some more financial jiggery-pokery of quantitative easing to ensure pension pots are devalued further, while future generations are given an onerous financial burden of paying for today’s financial mismanagement during their lifetimes?
      No wonder the government appears not to mind the pensioners dying of COVID, it eases the national debt!

      Figures are approximated as different organizations calculate today’s numbers based on updated predictions based on past accounts, or some use the past accounts. I’ve used UK government ONS, EU statistics, UK National debt clock, and other financial reports to try and get some idea of where it’s heading.

      • December 10, 2020 8:32 pm

        A good way of explaining how much a billion or a trillion is, is this: If you take one pound and put it in a jar every second (note its every second not minute) its takes 12 days to collect a £million, 32 years to collect a £billion and as a trillion is a million billions that means a £trillion being repaid at a pound a second would take 32 million years….£2 trillion is one hell of a debt to repay. That is before we spend the equivalent on getting to net zero. Poverty is the only result for the masses of net zero madness.

  2. GeoffB permalink
    December 9, 2020 10:40 am

    The National Grid report was estimating £2 to 3 trillion overall cost at todays cost of living, and we all thought that was based on some dubious positive projections……once the treasury gets the CCC costs, the brakes will have to go on.

  3. Nick permalink
    December 9, 2020 10:44 am

    “So long as the government moves urgently”.
    This reminds me so much of the pressure sales techniques we were exposed to buying a new car in the 80’s. We were tempted by a good deal, but no we couldn’t go away and consider it as we would miss the sale or target if you will. Shysters.

    As it happened we took the offer. But! We knew for certain that we were getting reliable proven technology. The CCC are trying to shift a munger from the back of the car lot the runs off scotch mist.

    • December 9, 2020 6:13 pm

      Presumably if wind turbines etc are getting cheaper all the time, we should wait rather than pay now?

  4. December 9, 2020 10:45 am

    Nothing coming from the CCC is believable. It is mostly just propaganda. The CCC should be binned as a massive wast of taxpayers’ money (ditto the BBC).

    • John Palmer permalink
      December 9, 2020 10:49 am


    • tom0mason permalink
      December 9, 2020 7:34 pm

      +10^42 !

  5. JimW permalink
    December 9, 2020 10:49 am

    The only way their numbers could possible stack up is if the UK govt gave electricity and hydrogen away for free.
    Oh and provided ‘insect’ meals as Govt ‘meals on wheels’ for the entire population.
    There are probably quite a few on the CCC who think these would be ‘good ideas’.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      December 9, 2020 4:06 pm

      “And provide ‘insect’ meals for the entire population.There are probably quite a few on the CCC who think this would be a good idea”

      Except Gummer, who will still be (force) feeding meat burgers to his daughter…

  6. Gerry, England permalink
    December 9, 2020 10:53 am

    Private investment needs to make a profit and we know that without taxpayer cash or end users being stiffed with above market rate prices, private money stays away.

    All this lunacy might be fine if the UK was a rich country with money to burn but government debt is at record levels, the economy is performing only above Argentina in the OECD 37, and from January the UK is exiting its largest trading agreement and even those of us well versed in the effects of this will be surprised as to just how far into our system the EU cancer has spread as unforeseen problems appear. Nobody can afford £1185 a year let alone the thousands on home insulation and a heat pump that will send energy bills soaring. All we can hope is that once Johnson has gone and policy is no longer at the whim of his court prostitute, some sanity might return.

    • December 9, 2020 12:55 pm

      Unfortunately Labour and the Dims are even worse

    • cajwbroomhill permalink
      December 9, 2020 2:46 pm

      ” All this would be fine if…” do you really believe that money to burn, our money, should, in any realistic circumstances,
      be burnt?

  7. Barbara permalink
    December 9, 2020 11:02 am

    Yet another article in the Telegraph today ‘Sale of new gas boilers should be banned by 2033, says carbon report’ this newspaper is now a daily purveyor of information put out by the many nudge units that seem to exist. We are constantly on the receiving end of warnings. I have collected a random selection that appear each day and I currently have a very long list indeed. The constant drip, drip, drip becomes laughable – provided it doesn’t make you cry. Here is one from today:
    BUTTERFLIES will suffer next year because the plants they feed on are blooming too early due to climate change, the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) has warned.

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      December 9, 2020 12:18 pm

      Judging by the way our brocolli and cabbages down at the allotment were munched this year, I think the butterflies are doing just fine.

      We don’t actually mind too much that they eat them all!

  8. Sobaken permalink
    December 9, 2020 11:04 am

    There’s also some additional hard to count costs, such as not being able to drive to far away places (EVs are pretty much city cars, unsuitable for long distance or off road travel), or waiting hours for the car to recharge on a public charger. And they assume that electric cars will last as long as ICE cars, which they certainly will not due to battery deterioration.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      December 9, 2020 4:08 pm

      “Such as not being able to drive to far away places”

      Which is all part of the plan…

  9. mjr permalink
    December 9, 2020 11:13 am

    well, as part of the great reset, and compared to the money being spaffed by Johnson on Covid, £32 billion is a tiny amount that no one will notice.

  10. Malcolm Bell permalink
    December 9, 2020 11:15 am

    Presumably all the kit to do the conversion will not be made here bit brought in from Europe? The Harrabins of this world will not give a damn about that.

  11. bobn permalink
    December 9, 2020 11:21 am

    All fantasy figures pulled out of thin air. Might as well read ‘Harry Potter’ for all the reality in a CCC work of fiction.

    • December 10, 2020 12:07 am

      ‘Harry Potter’ is far closer to scientific reality than the output of the CCC

  12. William Birch permalink
    December 9, 2020 11:33 am

    Unfortunately we live in an age of “catastrophic outcomes unless we give more money to various Government quangos and hangers on” who are all queuing up to say “if only they were given more money, they could better analyse the situation and find the magic bullet to cure all ills”. I spent 20 years in industry then 19 years as a university lecturer before taking early retirement. I saw 1st hand how Academia constantly crying wolf to suit the politicians green agenda suit both sides very well indeed. If anything it appears to be getting worse. However i can only hope that once the electorate get to know that they will have to pay the full cost of this green insanity, that they will reject it at the ballot box.

    • John Cullen permalink
      December 9, 2020 12:59 pm

      Hello William,

      But will we have the opportunity to reject it at the ballot box? If Ben Pile in the link below is correct then the main UK parties signed a sort of non-aggression pact on climate issues several years ago – that is the beauty, under the influence of pressure groups, of taking “difficult” topics away from the electorate.

      I suspect that we (and many other Western countries?) will have to up-date our democracies before we can be rid of the rent-seeking menace flying under the false flag of environmentalism. However, I’m afraid that the lessons from the 1930s are not encouraging in this regard.

      Best wishes,

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        December 9, 2020 9:14 pm

        “…will have to up-date our democracies” Never a truer word(s) – and ones that should cause all politicians pause for thought – unless, of course they are of the tendency who long for society to be ordered to their particular warped ideals – a la Pol Pot. My grandson (now six) is going to face some hard times.

  13. sid permalink
    December 9, 2020 11:38 am

    Nobody seems to be pricing in that the gov. wont continue to loose 50Bn of road transport income and is bound to introduce some form of taxation that will hit EV’s

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      December 9, 2020 3:20 pm

      Yes, it’ll be either via road pricing, or EV charge points. Doubtless EVs will have their charging systems programmed no to work, should an owner try & circumvent payment, by plugging into a household socket.

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        December 9, 2020 9:21 pm

        Yet, at the same time they (politicians under the control of Greens) want people to reduce drastically their travel patterns. That means fewer miles travelled and, therefore a smaller tax base to take money from. That means that the travellers left on the new roads with EVs (or large ICE HGVs) will have to pay a lot more to keep the revenue going. More cost.

  14. It doesn't add up... permalink
    December 9, 2020 12:05 pm

    The CCC supposedly published their proposals overnight. There is a veritable torrent of downloads. Every single one I tried failed as a corrupted file, unreadable by Acrobat and Libre Office. Corrupted is probably the metaphor.

    Anyone who wants to have a go (over a thousand pages according to one report) can try here

    It is a racing certainty that they are ignoring costs and finding ways to hide them by pretending that there are offsetting benefits. See HS2 for how that is done.

    I go back to looking at National Grid’s scenarios. They are calling for rapid increases in carbon taxes along with lots of subsidies and rigged markets. Here’s what the Grid envisage by way of carbon taxes on natural gas necessary to create the required subsidies:

    So that’s a 3-5 times increase in the real cost of energy by 2050, on top of the cost of all the investment required in capital projects for insulating homes to zero carbon standards (a £2 trillion item on its own), EV charging points and EVs, grid costs, etc. – with costs likely to double imminently (especially since the new 2030 target is far more ambitious than anything assumed in these scenarios). By implication, electricity prices would be at least double the gas prices at wholesale since CCGT at under 50% efficiency in intermittent mode has to be frozen out.

    Deben is 81. He won’t be living with the consequences of the regime he seeks to impose.

    • GeoffB permalink
      December 9, 2020 1:39 pm

      I got it OK. It is 997 pages total………I confess I have not read it yet!! ….there are some short bios on the committee members, and a list of acknowledgements,,,,,,spotted Drax and Climate change unit at east anglia university on the committee. So no bias !!!!!!!

    • Dave Ward permalink
      December 9, 2020 4:17 pm

      I downloaded each section separately, starting with the smallest. All of them opened in “PDF Viewer” without problems. However the largest one (on its own) was showing 800k of memory usage in Task Manager, so maybe your system can’t cope with a really large file?

      There’s NO way I’m going to risk my health trying to read any of this report, although I might just quickly scan through them one-by-one…

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        December 10, 2020 1:17 pm

        I have 16GB of RAM on my main computer, and I use it for some heavyweight modelling and photo editing. The problem is perhaps my lousy Internet connection, although I might have expected that at least one attempt out of over 10 I have made so far on the main report might have been successful. I get the message that the file has been corrupted and cannot be repaired I’ve managed to download the chapters, methodology and policy documents. Next will be the third party studies.

        The advantage with a single document is that it is searchable as one entity.

  15. 2hmp permalink
    December 9, 2020 12:29 pm

    One tends to think that ‘the truth will out’ and we shall come out of this nightmare scenario backed by the lunatic Deben, but as time goes on I wonder if there are any MPs in any of the parties who have checked the facts before saying Aye to Boris’s ten year Alice in Wonderland.. One Conservative ex Minister told me he thought CO2 was about 60% of the atmosphere.!!

  16. CheshireRed permalink
    December 9, 2020 12:43 pm

    Obviously drivers won’t save a penny on fuel as increased EV take-up will see reduced FF fuel duty revenues for HMRC, and they won’t stand for that.
    Therefore it’s misleading going on a bare-faced lie to claim drivers will save money on fuel costs, be they ICE or EV.

    • David V permalink
      December 9, 2020 4:18 pm

      Since they require fewer cars and lower mileage the revenue demand will be that much greater!

    • December 9, 2020 8:58 pm

      Well there will be road pricing to replace it. The likes of us who try to cling on to our old clunkers will end up paying the duty on our fuel… and the per mile charge to drive anywhere. I guess the mileage will be read at the MOT for older vehicles? New ones will probably beam their message to the stars.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 10, 2020 9:11 am

      And that’s before we get to the value of a second-hand EV that needs a completely new battery – which is going to be zero.

      But the big omission is the massive loss in value to us of having less of what we want. That total figure is vast.

  17. Patsy Lacey permalink
    December 9, 2020 1:04 pm
    I’m not too keen on the Mail but if they are willing to expose this green farce all the better

  18. MrGrimNasty permalink
    December 9, 2020 1:13 pm

    This is probably an example of their money saving logic, costs for illustration only.

    Now, Electricity = 8p/unit, Gas=2p/unit equiv. of electricity.
    Total annual bill = £1200, 50% cost electric/gas split so using 37,500 equivalent units.

    After ‘the great reset’ electricity = 24p/unit purely because of politics/distorted market/renewables. Gas not allowed.

    Spend £30k (minimum) to green up your house or they won’t let you rent/sell it.

    Consequently energy use drops a third to 25,000 equivalent units.

    Annual bill now £6000, 500% higher and you lost £30k lump sum too.

    Them “Look we saved you £3000 a year” (on the 1/3 energy saving at inflated unit price).

    • December 10, 2020 12:21 am

      “Them “Look we saved you £3000 a year” (on the 1/3 energy saving at inflated unit price).”
      & most of the sheeple will say thanks & vote them in again.

      You know how stupid the average person is…
      …well 50% are stupider than that !!!

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 10, 2020 9:19 am

      That is a classic illustration of these sorts of analyses. You only “save” from the hugely inflated cost, not from the Do Nothing baseline.

      But it’s also entirely Marxist – cost is assumed to be value, but value is assumed to have no cost if you lose it. So not eating as much meat – something we do because we value it – has no cost. The additional time required to go anywhere because of charging EVs along the journey has no cost – unlike HS2 where saving ten minutes in journey time is worth billions! Having to holiday in the UK instead if where we want is cost-free, despite the large value we put on it now.

      It is entirely false, nothing less than a fraud.

  19. Cyan permalink
    December 9, 2020 1:56 pm

    The CCC describe a number of scenarios, the most interesting of which is “Widespread engagement” which assumes “higher levels of societal and behavioural changes”

    Table 1.1 then gives a few key differences between them. The one that caught my attention is electricity prices:

    Under “Balanced net zero pathway”: Wholesale cost of electricity: August ’20 = £37.88/MWh. CCC estimate for 2035 = £60/MWh. 58% increase.

    Under “Widespread engagement” the 2035 estimate rises to £65/MWh, a 72% increase.

    Talk about Turkeys voting for Christmas.

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      December 9, 2020 3:23 pm

      And £60/MWh, still won’t make offshore wind profitable.

    • John Palmer permalink
      December 10, 2020 11:56 am

      And when “widespread engagement” inevitably fails, it’ll be “widespread coercion”. A new political movement is required to stop this march to an abject poverty – from where, we will be able to watch the rest of the (non US/Europe) world ‘prosper mightily’ – to coin a phrase!

  20. Cyan permalink
    December 9, 2020 4:55 pm

    Another hoot. Table 1.2 on P50 lists recommendations of the climate assembly. They seem persuaded to travel a little less, eat a bit less meat and dairy but when it comes to their annual 2 weeks in Benidorm, it’s strictly ‘Hands off!’

    “Assembly members would like to see a solution to air travel emissions that allows people to continue to fly.”

    It would be reassuring to believe that politicians reading this drivel would see what a complete waste of time the “Assembly” is but I just know that they won’t.

    • December 9, 2020 9:01 pm

      Ask people if they’re in favour of Net Zero they will say yes. Ask how to get there, they will say recycle plastic, plant a few trees, and get SUVs off the road. Most folk are still unaware of what the cost to them in wealth and freedom will be.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 10, 2020 9:07 am

      Because nobody will know if they carry on buying food as they do now but stopping flying would actually be a thing. People aren’t stupid.

  21. GeoffB permalink
    December 9, 2020 5:05 pm

    Well I have scanned through the document and it is what is called in the USA ….”A Snow Job” ( I worked for an American company for 25 years) You produce a document so long and detailed that it is impossible to deduce what it is actually all about. The standard response is please reduce to 10 page maximum bullet list. However it looks to be well put together, very professional. No way any of our politicians will have time to read this. It is easily dismissed by asking a few question
    1.Is carbon dioxide, emitted by using fossil fuels, proven to be increasing temperature by the so called greenhouse effect? Answer NO.
    2. Is a temperature rise of 1.5C really likely to cause any real problems? Answer NO
    3. Is the rest of the world going to go down this route to reduce carbon dioxide emissions? Answer NO. (China, India, South America, Africa, Far East certainly will not)
    4. Is adopting the measures outlined in this report going to reduce employment in manufacturing industry, increase poverty as the result of increased fuel costs, reduce personal liberty and generally make us a lot worse off? Answer YES.

    • jack broughton permalink
      December 9, 2020 5:18 pm

      Bang-on. Even the mad scenario of 4.5 deg K temperature rise is unlikely to be a problem, especially as it could never happen). If there was really a CO2 problem the USA, where the scares originated, would have taken forcible action to save their bacon. Only Europe (and especially the UK) are fooled by the pseudo-science.

    • cajwbroomhill permalink
      December 10, 2020 12:19 am

      Bravo for your vital points-summary.

      Since the UK’s proportion of the planet’s greenhouse gas and manmade CO2 emissions is much less than 1%, we need take NO action to decarbonise, even if we believe the unproven CO2-climate change hypotheses, based only on computer projections fouled by GIGO!

  22. A C Osborn permalink
    December 9, 2020 6:42 pm

    “We have already seen that those who will rely on public chargers won’t save a penny, indeed they will almost certainly be worse off.”

    Once they add fuel duty on to the price of charging they will be a lot worse off.

  23. Scientissimo permalink
    December 9, 2020 7:28 pm

    “Environmental campaign groups have expressed delight that the costs of a clean society will be cheaper than previously thought, although they need convincing that the government will grasp the challenge”.

    Oh – well that’s alright then – as long as Harbbin’s mates are happy! Typical BBC. How about “Rational people will need convincing that this isn’t more biased BS from the pointless CCC”?

  24. MrGrimNasty permalink
    December 9, 2020 10:47 pm

    Bob Ward, serial climate orthodoxy enforcer – but often the complaint loser, celebrates the takeover of the BBC by dangerous climate radicals and the trashing of the BBC charter, with a quick roll of his tongue around Harrabin’s nether regions.

  25. December 10, 2020 5:12 am

    Eating less red meat?

  26. Phoenix44 permalink
    December 10, 2020 9:04 am

    If you think that tens of millions of people “voluntarily” reducing their wealth doesn’t reduce their wealth then perhaps. But if you think that you are simply stupid.

    This is an exercise in money and cost, not wealth and value. As a simple example, let’s say every household takes five long distance journeys a year, with an additional two hours per round trip because of the need to charge an EV every. So 30 million times 5 times 2 = 300 million wasted hours. Say £50/hour is £15 billion/year. Say 30 million people eat meat one times fewer a week. That’s 1.6 billion. At say £5/meal less enjoyment (wealth) that’s €7.8 billion/year. Cirneall rather than Croatia? £5,000/household poorer. And so on.

    The BBC simply uses Marxist economics, where cost = value. A £20,000 EV does not have the same value as a £20,000 ICE car. £3,000/year for intermittent electricity is not the same value as £3,000/year for reliable electricity.

    These are superficial estimates that no serious economist or analyst would accept. The fact we are taking such far-reaching decisions based on such nonsense is extraordinary.

    • dave permalink
      December 10, 2020 9:22 am

      “…Marxist economics where cost = value.”

      No, that is Fascist economics; Marxist economics is (labour) cost = value.

      Either way, however – the same vague, idiotic, underpinning thought ,”If we are sacrificing, we will be rewarded – because the universe is so fair!”

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        December 10, 2020 9:34 am

        Marxist economics doesn’t recognise any other inputs to total cost than labour. What it believes is that value-added is entirely due to labour and therefore that value-add should entirely accrue to labour. Therefore any value that accrues to anybody else is exploitation of labour. Various theories of value disproved that (as well as there being other costs), showing that value was in the eye of the consumer, not in the price or quantity of the labour – my hour painting isn’t worth the same as Picasso’s sadly. It is this fallacy the Greens perpetuate, where provided the cost of my EV is the same as the cost of my ICE car, there is no loss of value.

        Fascism adopted Marxist economics, it didn’t add anything to it. And where all cost is at root labour, your two definitions are identical.

  27. Phoenix44 permalink
    December 10, 2020 9:22 am

    I should add that the analysis essentially ignores the hidden loss of value to us all despite the fact the analysis is only done because of the claims that Climate Change will lead to all sorts of hidden losses of value, e.g. externalities.

    If a reduction in biodiversity is a cost to me then so is a reduction in holiday-diversity.

  28. yonason permalink
    December 11, 2020 10:52 am

    No expense is too great, …when you are spending other peoples money.

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