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Climate change: UK to speed up target to cut carbon emissions

April 20, 2021

By Paul Homewood


Another one sided report from Harrabin:




Radical new climate change commitments will set the UK on course to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035, the UK government has announced.

Hitting the targets would require more electric cars, low-carbon heating, renewable electricity and, for many, cutting down on meat and dairy.

For the first time, climate law will be extended to cover international aviation and shipping.

But Labour said the government had to match "rhetoric with reality".

It urged Boris Johnson to treat "the climate emergency as the emergency it is" and show "greater ambition".

The prime minister’s commitments, which are to become law, bring forward the current target for reducing carbon emissions by 15 years. This would be a world-leading position.

Homes will need to be much better insulated, and people will be encouraged to drive less and walk and cycle more. Aviation is likely to become more expensive for frequent fliers.

The government has accepted the advice of its independent Climate Change Committee (CCC) to adopt the emissions cut, which is based on 1990 levels.


It was of course always inevitable that the 80% emissions cut targeted for 2050 under the Climate Change Act would be brought forward once Parliament had nodded through the Net Zero Act.

Harrabin fills out his report with comments from his eco chums, most of whom ludicrously complain the government is not going far enough. And the idiot Ed Miliband moans "We need a government that treats the climate emergency as the emergency it is. That means greater ambition than this government matched with much more decisive action”. More to the point, perhaps he might care to explain why he committed to an 80% cut in emissions in the first place, without having any plan as to how it could be achieved, or the cost of doing so!

On the contrary, the government has already gone too far by announcing bans on conventional cars and gas boilers, which will be extremely costly and disruptive for most people.


Harrabin’s only mention of cost is this:

“The CCC report accepted by the government says low-carbon investment must scale up to £50bn a year in the UK. But it adds that in time fuel savings from more efficient equipment will cancel out investment costs.

The CCC believes around 1% of GDP – national wealth – would need to be spent on shifting away from fossil fuels over 30 years.”

To Harrabin, cost is a non-issue. If it was, he would have challenged the CCC’s ridiculous assumptions. Indeed the two sentences are contradictory – if fuel savings cancel out “investment” costs, then we would not be spending 1% of GDP, currently about £20bn a year.

Why is there no mention by him (or Miliband for that matter) of much more detailed and realistic costings, which put the cost of Net Zero well over £1 trillion, such as the Treasury’s own calculations?

What we do know is that low carbon heating/insulation will cost homeowners tens of thousands, and businesses will be forced to spend billions more, money which could be better spent on other things. And there is no sign of electric cars coming down in price relative to petrol/diesel.


The press release from No 10 is here. It is full of the usual waffle, but contains very little new detail. One such item however is the fact that our share of international shipping and aviation emissions will now be part of our carbon budget. Given that these are unlikely to fall globally in the next decade or so, this will effectively mean that the UK has to make even bigger emission cuts domestically to offset the sins of the rest of the world.

The new target of 78% by 2035 means that emissions will need to be reduced by 61% from 2019 levels.

  1. Tim Leeney permalink
    April 20, 2021 7:43 pm

    What exactly does “independent Climate Change Committee” mean?

    • April 20, 2021 7:45 pm

      A climate Change committee appointed by the Govt, obviously

    • Martin permalink
      April 20, 2021 7:51 pm

      Independent of any rational thought process

    • April 21, 2021 6:50 am

      A committee headed by a Conservative politician and staffed with government-appointed, over-paid, climate change alarmists.

    • April 21, 2021 9:12 am

      “Independent” means it answers to no one. No democratic accountability system considers whether it’s plans are lunacy.

    • Julian Flood permalink
      April 21, 2021 4:27 pm

      It means Gummer.


  2. April 20, 2021 7:44 pm

    I am sure I speak for everyone here in urging the govt to bring the target forward to a week next Wednesday. No excuses it can be done. From a 21st century to 16th Century lifestyle in 7 days.

    Just think how pleased Greta and Abe will be with us and if we concede their points perhaps the BBC won’t inflict the last episodes of their tedious programmes on us.

    • April 20, 2021 9:31 pm

      I agree. The sooner we get this age of madness done, the sooner we can get back to normal life. Suggest a general power cut for a couple of weeks, together with locked pumps on petrol stations, turn off gas and water. That ought to do it.

      • Mack permalink
        April 20, 2021 10:39 pm

        Hope you’ve got a shotgun licence Jit? Some double barrels and a few boxes of shells may come in very handy after a couple of weeks of power cut mayhem.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        April 21, 2021 10:18 am

        In early retirement, I decided to try to write a novel. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell you how difficult that is! The basic plot entails a group organising mass sudden and simultaneous action of switching on high power electrical loads to deliberately collapse the grid. ( I used to work in the generation industry and yes it could be done). The difficulty is not so much the numbers involved as the organisation of covert, simultaneous action. I start with the Brian Patten poem “I have changed the numbers on my watch” and work from there. .
        The result of a total grid collapse is not really appreciated by the general public as it has never actually happened before. The nearest thing was the 1987 great Storm event but that only really affected the south of England and mostly rural areas. a full black start could literally take weeks to fully complete but even a few days without power in large urban areas would be carnage.
        If I ever get to finish the book, will anyone publish it on the grounds of risking actually precipitating the event….perhaps that’s why I am writing it!

    • Gamecock permalink
      April 21, 2021 12:20 am

      I like it, climatereason. Choke them with their own game.

  3. James Neill permalink
    April 20, 2021 7:45 pm

    And on the other hand the Daily Mail would also appear to be waking up a little bit:-

  4. April 20, 2021 7:59 pm

    What kind of perverse game does our Prime Minister think he is playing “on our behalf”?This is NOT clever but perverse virtue signalling of the worst kind to ouff yourself up that you intend to knackerate our economy faster than any other on this idiots errand as if the “Earth” cares and will award prizes for those who race to the edge of the cliff and jump off first. Darwin however does not limit the number of his awards and welcomes allcomers.Can I personally secede from the United Kingdom (or at least myself and my house)?

    ….asininity on steroids and in my name!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 20, 2021 8:16 pm


  5. Harry Passfield permalink
    April 20, 2021 8:13 pm

    To my shame, I caught part of the exchange between thicko Vine and his contender for the honour, Harrabin, and all I wanted to hear from Vine, who once styled himself as a successor to Paxman, was the one word question: ‘WHY’??? Vine, whose job at the BBC relies on him staying in line, would not dare question the logic of the UK, ALONE, reducing emissions and destroying the UK property market overnight – such, that if and when my daughter inherits my (’60s) house, she will find it worth a damn sight less than it was and with a whole load of extra cost involved in up-grading its heating and insulation.
    If Boris is keen to ruin the UK’s housing market he’s going the right way about it.

    BTW: Heard the egregious Myles Allen ‘selling’ the glory of ‘zero-carbon’ on R4 this morning and realised that he is yet another decision-maker who will not be alive to suffer the consequences of their actions. That sounds like something that should not be allowed in law: if a government cannot tie its successor by laws, then a generation should not tie another.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      April 20, 2021 9:11 pm

      I too listened to a chunk of the Vine-Harrabin love-in. Ironically at the point I made my complaint to the BBC about the lack of questioning the numbers wind was supplying 0.6GW. I was so annoyed by the whole thing,Harrabin’s claim that he didn’t do much driving in his mother’s old petrol car, I would like to know how he gets round the country on his various reporting missions.

      When will the BBC employ a reporter with a bullshit detector?

  6. Penda100 permalink
    April 20, 2021 8:19 pm

    Have we reached peak insanity or is there more to come? Surely somebody must spell out to the general public exactly what all this means for them, their children and their standard of life.

    • David Wojick permalink
      April 20, 2021 10:54 pm

      More to come. This is after all just talk.

  7. Tonyb permalink
    April 20, 2021 8:23 pm

    Hark! What’s that sound? Ah, it’s china laughing it’s head off.

  8. Jackington permalink
    April 20, 2021 8:25 pm

    With the European Super League filling the headlines what an excellent time to bury bad news.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      April 20, 2021 8:43 pm

      “…..films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their [the proles] minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.”

      • Tonyb permalink
        April 20, 2021 8:46 pm

        “They keep you doped with religion, and sex, and T.V.
        And you think you’re so clever and classless and free
        But you’re still fuc**ng peasants as far as I can see”

        John Lennon

      • Ben Vorlich permalink
        April 20, 2021 9:13 pm

        Bread and circuses

  9. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 20, 2021 8:32 pm

    ‘INDEPENDENT’ Climate Change Committee


  10. Broadlands permalink
    April 20, 2021 8:38 pm

    Penda100 …”Have we reached peak insanity or is there more to come?”

    No… and yes there is more to come!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 20, 2021 8:57 pm

      “More to come”….not for me. I figure I won’t be around in 2035 and I’m happy to be so – not that I want to shuffle off, but that there will be a whole load of CC bastards who will be shuffling off with me. Not least, Attenborough, Deben, Mann, Jones, Hansen and a few others. Mores the pity…I want the bastards (sorry, Paul) to suffer.

  11. Jack Broughton permalink
    April 20, 2021 8:44 pm

    Apparently, according to the Energy Minister tonight, the answer for housing is air-source heat pumps: count me out!
    We’re also going to build lots of SMRs and every house will plant a magic money tree and be given one Unicorn.

    Totally irresponsible “Power to the wokes”, as Foxy Smith would say.

    • April 20, 2021 9:24 pm

      Listening to the Energy Minister on R4 certainly made me glad she wasn’t directing troops to attack a dug-in enemy position. Clueless and dissembling waffle.

      • April 21, 2021 6:55 am

        I heard it too. It was obvious that she hasn’t a clue about anything. Waffle, waffle, waffle in answer to a series of waffle questions.

  12. Cheshire Red permalink
    April 20, 2021 8:52 pm

    Can we call this what it is? Outrageously reckless policy-making. This is disastrous stuff. Timeline, ‘carbon’ cuts, transformed living standards and so on.

  13. Private Frazer permalink
    April 20, 2021 8:53 pm

    This is getting worrying. A few crazies shouting about pollution and acid rain is one thing but the crazies now include the government who are passing insane laws. When can we expect to see some sanity here eg. co2 does not control the climate and increased co2 is a good thing. When a joke becomes future reality, when is the brake pedal going to be pressed. I’m beginning to think we really are doomed. Anyone got any messages of hope?

  14. April 20, 2021 9:26 pm

    On Thursday and Friday of this week, Biden will chair a virtual climate ‘summit’ to which the heads of 40 countries (including China, India, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil and Turkey) are invited. The primary objective is to get ‘the world’s major economies to reduce emissions during this critical decade to keep a limit to warming of 1.5 degree Celsius within reach’ – a target that the IPCC says means cutting 2019 emissions by 50%. Few, if any, of the above eleven countries (the source of 53% of global emissions) are likely to comply.

    If they don’t, and in view of the fact that the UK is the source of less than 1% of global emissions, might Johnson be persuaded that all this effort and economy-damaging action is pointless and should be abandoned? And if not, why not?

  15. April 20, 2021 9:40 pm

    In importance and relevance this BBC News item was beaten into 2nd place by Colin the Caterpillar, now that is something to get upset about!

    However the BBC news I found misleading was the luvverly graphs JVT and the Gov showed us on why the risk/benefit of the Astra Zeneca vaccine is OK.

    What no clever award winning BBC journalist appears to have noticed is that only a few days later the MHRA raised the number of confirmed “major” cases from 79 ( the figure what the graphs were based on) to 100 with no definition on what “major” meant. So the graphs were b*llocks. When you ask for a definition of a major event and how many minor thromboembolic events there were, no answer is given. All carefully buried when the country was focussed on the Death of Duke of E.

    Extract from MHRA update 15th April. (Not announced it just appeared)

    “Up to 5 April 2021, the MHRA had received Yellow Card reports of 100 cases of major thromboembolic events (blood clots) with concurrent thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts) in the UK following vaccination with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. These events occurred in 61 women and 39 men aged from 18 to 85 years and the overall case fatality rate was 22% with 22 deaths.

    Of these, 99 reports were associated with the first dose of the vaccine and a single report followed a second dose, although this individual had medical conditions that could have caused the events. Fifty individuals had cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (average age 46 years) and 50 had other major thromboembolic events (average age 52 years) with concurrent thrombocytopenia.

    The estimated number of first doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca administered in the UK by 5 April was 20.6 million, giving an overall case incidence of 4.9 per million doses. The data suggest there is a higher incidence reported in the younger adult age groups and the MHRA advises that this evolving evidence should be taken into account when considering the use of the vaccine.”

    So there you go the MHRA missed 100 cases recorded in their system, and as far as I can tell they are still reviewing the early vaccine cohorts to see what else they missed.

    However I have had the first dose, and will probably get the 2nd (if allowed) but at the moment I am having a pause in my own personal vaccine roll out, till the clever boys work out what is going on.

  16. Harry Passfield permalink
    April 20, 2021 9:51 pm

    The intercontinental wars and the World wars of previous centuries (notwithstanding current!) have left following generations with insurmountable problems, where they have had to overcome their forefathers’ errors, ideals, dogmatisms and idolatries.
    Without learning from the past the PTB are committed to repeating the whole sorry saga all over again. NZC will inflict on the people – the WOKE more-so – nothing less than was suffered after 1918 and 1945. But I doubt 20 years will see any kind of recovery. History could just repeat itself with another war. I wonder with whom…..

  17. Mack permalink
    April 20, 2021 10:05 pm

    Obviously, thoroughly depressing news for anyone in the UK who possesses an ounce of critical thinking ability or, even, the vaguest knowledge of history, (meteorological or otherwise) and a basic understanding of science and geology. When the crunch really starts to bite the masses, expect the inevitable push back, at which point the authors of this madness will run for the hills and blame everyone but themselves

    It’s incredible to think that, within my lifetime, the revolutionairies in society are now considered to be the (once boring old) bastards who still believe in justice, fairness, honour, the rule of law, mutual respect, a free press, scrutiny, acountability, self reliance, charity, independent thinking, innovation, ambition, merit and the scientific method as opposed to the, so called, more enlightened amongst us, who would wish to transform society though simple thuggery and blind ignorance. Scary times indeed!

  18. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 20, 2021 10:26 pm

    Please everybody campaign to get the Climate Change Committee up on a COVID style briefing podium perhaps weekly. We’ve emerged from a COVID-19 crisis – surely the climate crisis deserves as much? My first question “what %age of global CO2 does U.K. emit”

  19. April 20, 2021 11:13 pm

    About 90% of so-called greenhouse gas is water vapour. What do they think can be achieved by a marginal reduction, at the optimistic best, of CO2?

  20. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    April 21, 2021 3:05 am

    Washington State (left coast) is moving ahead with legislation that could phase out sales of gas and diesel light-duty vehicles by the year 2030. Washington is pursuing legislation that has to get through both chambers before it may be signed into law.

    Washington State Bill Aims to Mandate EV-Only Sales by 2030 (

    Washington State is considering a mileage-based tax for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles as the first step toward changing how the state pays for road maintenance and other transportation needs. Policymakers expect gas tax revenue to decline long term.

    Right now, Washingtonians who own fully electric cars pay an extra $225 annual registration fee. One proposal would replace that flat fee beginning in July 2026 with a mandatory 2 cents per mile road usage charge.

    My response: A costly and disruptive concept about which the climate won’t notice.

  21. April 21, 2021 5:55 am

    The climate heroism of the UK is surely an impressive thing but sadly what we are dealing with here is not a UK issue nor an issue that can be understood in terms of any given nation state however heroic. Global warming is a Global issue that has only a Global solution in terms of Global fossil fuel emissions.

    Without a globally coordinated reduction in fossil fuel emissions to zero, real zero not net zero, it’s just talk and climate heroism but not climate action.

  22. Colin MacDonald permalink
    April 21, 2021 7:28 am

    Even Harribin must understand that draconian cuts in UK emissions will have no measurable effect on the climate. However our policies are “World leading” so likely he believes that by setting an example the “World” will follow our “lead” and once China, India et al crash their emissions, the climate will be sorted. What gets me about this is the causality is all one direction, why should they follow our lead when clearly they’re not following ours? There’s a basic fallacy in the logic. Why isn’t Little Blighty following China’s example and building coal power stations?

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      April 21, 2021 8:28 am

      It has nothing to do with results, any more than increasing NHS funding has anything to do with more people getting treated. What matters is childish narcissists getting their own way. We don’t bother measuring whether anything works any more because it simply isnt important.

  23. Robert McCarthy Jones permalink
    April 21, 2021 8:46 am

    Dramatic headline claims are all very well, but how is anyone ever going to be able to actually measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at any one moment with any semblance of credibility? The whole scam is a frail package of claims and counter claims, none of which are verifiable (except, of course, by those profiting in the whole venal process. Follow the money!)

  24. April 21, 2021 9:14 am

    UK elites have lost the plot. Their climate policies will make UK economy inefficient at every level; because energy is the master commodity upon which our whole economies are based. Elites, presumably, don’t think this matters because they believe in a 21st century ‘knowledge economy’, or some such voodoo. In fact, their policies will leave China as the undisputed, dominant, world power, probably by 2040; certainly by 2050. This matters to me – not because I’m racist – but because China is a communist dictatorship with no democratic tradition.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      April 21, 2021 9:17 am

      It matters to me because I have children.

  25. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 21, 2021 9:23 am

    Paul – please campaign for the Climate Change Committee to appear on a podium to address the Climate Crisis as was the case with the COVID crisis. The public is being kept in ignorance about this all powerful unelected body. Who serves in it? Are they qualified? Do any have an agenda beyond their handsome salaries? Do they know the answer to the First Question “What %age of global CO2 does the U.K. emit?”

  26. April 21, 2021 9:40 am

    Better start saving now 😣

    Replacing gas boilers with green alternatives could cost homeowners up to £25,000, MPs and peers have warned, as the Government announced drastic new emissions cuts.
    20 April 2021

  27. David Calder permalink
    April 21, 2021 9:50 am

    We need to end this lunacy NOW. Enough is enough.. THEIR tactics are all that work. Burn Loot Mob (well perhaps not THAT extreme!)

  28. Harry Davidson permalink
    April 21, 2021 9:54 am

    I might start to believe this stuff when I see an actual strategy for electricity supply to replace gas/petrol/diesel. At the moment there isn’t one. Windmills won’t do it, the battery capacity needed to support a 10 day windless gap is far, far beyond current engineering capabilities. I see no plans for large pumped storage which requires major civil engineering works and long timescales. How they will achieve this target without huge amounts of nuclear no one has shown, and that also has a long timescale.

    • MikeHig permalink
      April 22, 2021 4:02 pm

      Spot on!
      We have now had 13 days in the doldrums. Wind output has been insignificant for most of the time with the occasional flurry up to 2 GW and one brief spell at 5 GW. Indeed, if the production figures do not account for the power the turbines take from the grid when not generating, the net balance could be negative.
      As for back-up, there’s a lot of hype around batteries but some crude maths blows that idea out of the water. Say there was a 5 GW shortfall through a period like the present (an entirely credible scenario, imho): that would require 1560 GWh of battery storage. Afaik the present global output of batteries is less than half that figure….

  29. A C Osborn permalink
    April 21, 2021 10:23 am

    One of the lies now being pushed is that “carbon” is pollution.
    Yes Soot is pollution, CO2 however is the building block of all life.
    How has the world become so dumbed down is quite shocking.

  30. April 21, 2021 10:33 am

    To try to ban all Carbon is stupidity on a major scale, Carbon is essential to all life and is a major item to keep our green Country as it is. Without Carbon our Land would decay and our wonderful fields would soon die, as would our race.

  31. Gerry, England permalink
    April 21, 2021 1:25 pm

    Amazing isn’t it that a lying idiot such as Johnson has become the British PM? Voted in place by around 20,000 Tory Party members and leading a party voted in because the other option was even worse.

  32. William Birch permalink
    April 21, 2021 2:47 pm

    if carbon is a pollution, then humanity really is in trouble as we are all carbon based life forms. The reality is that over geological time the organic life forms had pumped the Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to such an extent that it was down to 300 parts per million. The truth is that if it had keep falling to 150 parts per million, then life on our planet would have ceased to exist. The fact that the % of carbon dioxide has risen from 0.03% to 0.04% should leave us with a huge sigh of relief. This appears to have not been noticed by Gummer. Perhaps after all he did eat the BSE burger that he tried to feed to his daughter all those years ago.

  33. Tony Drew permalink
    April 21, 2021 4:29 pm

    Personally I shall continue to use my gas boiler and run my diesel car until they or I drop!

  34. Dave Gardner permalink
    April 21, 2021 6:55 pm

    I thought I’d check up on where the 80% cut figure (by 2050) came from when the Climate Change Act was introduced by Ed Miliband in 2008.

    Apparently the 80% came from the “Climate Change Committee”. The Climate Change Committee seems to have been in existence before the Climate Change Act came into law. The original target figure that appeared in the Climate Change Bill was a 60% cut by 2050, recommended in a report that had been written in 2000 by a body called the “Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution”.

    We’re often told that ‘politicians need to listen to the scientists’ by the likes of Greta Thunberg, but in this case “the scientists” recommended a 60% cut, and that was ignored in favour of a more onerous target produced by the CCC quango.

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