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Europe’s heavy industry unlikely to survive Net Zero

May 1, 2021

By Paul Homewood




It is becoming ever more evident that much of Europe’s heavy industry is unlikely to survive the EU’s unilateral Net Zero policy.

The EU’s carbon price reached a new record high of 45 euros ($54) a tonne on Tuesday.

As the carbon price is expected to increase much further in the next few years, European industrial groups are desperately calling for the introduction of a carbon border tax, hoping that it will save them from international competitors that are able to produce much cheaper.


Even higher carbon prices are coming. BloombergNEF expects carbon prices to hit 100 euros by 2030.


They warn that rising energy and carbon costs will force energy-intensive manufacturing to shut down and relocate to countries with less stringent CO2 targets if the EU does not introduce protectionist carbon protection.

It is rather doubtful, however, whether the EU can afford to introduce a carbon border tax, knowing full well that China, India and much of the rest of the emerging and developing world would simply retaliate in return, threatening to tax European products out of Asian and African markets altogether.

European and American politicians should be reminded that we have been warning for years about this inevitable outcome of unilateral climate policies.

  1. Philip Mulholland permalink
    May 1, 2021 10:33 am

    “Europe’s heavy industry unlikely to survive Net Zero”
    It is not supposed to.

    • JimW permalink
      May 1, 2021 10:39 am


    • James Neill permalink
      May 1, 2021 10:52 am


    • Robert Christopher permalink
      May 1, 2021 1:02 pm

      Make sure you have enough blankets and knitwear, like pullovers, and ‘young’ enough kitchen appliances, like fridges and freezers, just in case the electricity supply lasts, and get a good supply of popcorn, then:

      Enjoy the show! 🙂

      … and hope others have been more progressive than we will have been. If cavemen (and women) could survive in caves …. 🙂 we should survive!

  2. Malcolm Bell permalink
    May 1, 2021 10:50 am

    I have been saying, as a Professional Engineer in manufacturing that many government and economic policies, mainly tax, were destroying our industry and jobs and driving up China and the East.

    I was laughed at and sneered at by “London” in all its guises as a “typical Engineer” who doesn’t understand. They said that all that matters is returns to shareholders, not survival of UK factories and jobs.

    Now, and rapidly, the truth is becoming all too clear, look at the vaccine supply issues. Trouble is, with the best will in the world (and we do not yet have that) it will take 40 years to reverse it all.

    At least by then the “Deniers” will have been proved right,

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      May 1, 2021 11:35 am

      Malcolm, I’ve been doing the same for few years and get a lot of my, more or less daily, missives printed in The Engineer, however, they still will not print a lot of my letters (some of the editors are declared AGW believers). There are a good number of sceptics, but most are scared to write because of company policies. Fundamentally, we have and continue to export worthwhile jobs while importing goods from dubious countries but forgetting their “carbon footprint” and slavery.

      All of the Engineering Institutions are now controlled by the climate mafia, and I resigned when they would not publish a reasoned letter criticising a stupid paper which made easily refuted claims. The editor admitted that the institutions policy was to ban any “denier” comments.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        May 1, 2021 1:31 pm

        It makes you wonder what the membership of the institutions actually think and how they would vote if they were asked. I quit the IET as their journal was just complete nonsense. It was quite a shock to look through a copy from a decade earlier to see the higher level of content worth reading.

    • 2hmp permalink
      May 1, 2021 2:05 pm

      I have seen businessmen aka accountants – fight engineers on design issues. The accountants always won because they could always say to the engineers “you said you could do it for that price” .

    • sarastro92 permalink
      May 2, 2021 2:56 am

      Don’t worry Malcolm. This is nothing that a few good bouts of “Freeze in the Dark” can’t cure.

  3. Mad Mike permalink
    May 1, 2021 11:29 am

    This is just another example of unintended consequences which I’m amazed people don’t see. Have most of us lost all ability to think things through to their obvious end? We might not always get it right but the more obvious ones like this example should be pretty easy to spot.

    You can see examples all over our society. Take re-wilding. When we are being told that we should produce more food here, which seems quite sensible from most standpoints, re-wilders are pressing to take away productive land to plant trees or just let go wild. They cite aiding wild life as their reason but, even without the food production angle, this will take away the habitat of existing wildlife so the best they can hope for will be neutrality. I’ve argued the case but, such is their tunnel vision, re-wilders don’t even admit there could be a problem.

    Is it our school system?

    • Lorde Late permalink
      May 1, 2021 12:49 pm

      That is indeed where the rot starts, I am horrified and worried by some of the things my 10 year old grandaughter tells me she has been ‘learning’ at school.
      I have many discussions about science/climate/engineering with her and tell her to challange what she is told.thankfully she is interested in the sciences so I have some hope.

      • May 1, 2021 7:23 pm

        Trouble is, if you query the school mantra you will get a low mark. Increasingly true with Universities as well

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      May 1, 2021 1:08 pm

      “Is it our school system?” Mike just prior to lockdown I was working on some SVC units at the Sellindge convertor station in Kent. Some colleagues and I were discussing the issue of lagging VAR when one chap asked us what football had to do with this. We all laughed and carried on but he looked puzzled (and then annoyed) when nobody responded to his question. He asked the question again and we realised he actually didn’t know what we were talking about. So we explained VAR to him….he was the Station Manager!

      • Mad Mike permalink
        May 1, 2021 1:58 pm

        I assume SVC units and VAR are engineering terms. At least he had the gumption to ask the question but shame on his bosses to put him in that position in the first place. I bet he knew all about diversity and unconscious bias though.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        May 1, 2021 2:40 pm

        Sorry, “SVC” is Static VAR Compensator , VAR is the unit Volt Ampere Reactive. Reactive power is simply explained here .

    • Gerry, England permalink
      May 1, 2021 2:19 pm

      Funny you should mention re-wilding Mike as I have just been reading an article in the Quarterly Journal of Forestry about observations from a wood in Wales unmanaged for 75 years. I suspect you won’t be too surprised that it turns out to be disastrous for flora and fauna, and actually makes access dangerous for people. Left to its own devices there would be no oaks as these showed no regen during this period.

      • Mad Mike permalink
        May 1, 2021 2:44 pm

        TBH, I always find woods a pretty lifeless experience. I’m sure it’s good for some wildlife but I always prefer more open countryside with birdsong, views etc. I’m up in Wales atm and I’d agree with the article but with a few exceptions. However i don’t think the re-wilders mean to leave the rewilding to manage itself as you tend to get more dominant species taking over. Not my field I must say but they do seem to be a pretty dreamy bunch set on some utopian ideal which would probably never arrive.

    • bobn permalink
      May 2, 2021 1:24 am

      Since they’ve stopped fox hunting and re-introduced otters the swan population (and other water fowl) has reduced. Otters and foxes love to eat bird eggs and signets and ducklings. These predators will soon make water fowl endangered. I heard on idiot reporter say it was due to kids shooting them with air rifles! I have video of foxes attacking swan nests.

  4. Andre Blackburn permalink
    May 1, 2021 11:39 am

    Meanwhile in California the scams continue. It makes you long for a good honest ponzi scheme!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 1, 2021 9:07 pm

      Sorry, Andre, but I hope our host will insist that contributors who want to post links should at least give some sort of (even a copy’n’paste of the title) explanation of that which they are are linking to.
      I tend not to click on unverified links.

  5. David permalink
    May 1, 2021 12:18 pm

    It is fundamentally our school system. 99% of our teachers are woke communists and have been brainwashing our children for a generation.

    • Lorde Late permalink
      May 1, 2021 12:50 pm


  6. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 1, 2021 12:25 pm

    It won’t just be heavy industry that is affected, but also the onward supply chain. We will be left importing finished goods. But because we will have few exports, we will not be able to afford to import much. Our balance of payments will become extremely stretched, and we will be forced to sell off and mortgage more and more, to the point where we are financially colonised and bankrupt. We wouldn’t be able to afford or equip an army to defend ourselves. Complete economic and social collapse beckons. Which is of course what the likes of XR aim for.

    • May 1, 2021 11:17 pm

      IDAU, this certainly seems to be the end point if we carry on as we are. But the optimist in me says we will turn back before that happens. What I do not know is when we will turn back, nor what will be the final trigger, nor how bad things will get before we do.

  7. Gamecock permalink
    May 1, 2021 1:05 pm

    ‘Europe’s heavy industry unlikely to survive Net Zero’

    Ha ha ha ha!

    Let me fix that:

    “Europe’s industry unlikely to survive Net Zero”

    • May 1, 2021 5:29 pm

      I’ll raise you:

      “Europe unlikely to survive Net Zero.”

      • Jordan permalink
        May 1, 2021 7:30 pm

        I’ll raise you:
        “Net Zero unlikely to survive political reality.”

      • May 1, 2021 11:09 pm

        Jordan, I too am optimistic that we will turn back from this course. The question is, how far along the road will we go before we turn around?

      • Gamecock permalink
        May 2, 2021 12:09 am

        Good upgrade, Jit.

      • Jordan permalink
        May 2, 2021 12:00 pm

        “how far along the road will we go before we turn around?”
        A period of energy rationing should do the trick. Should be coming along in the next year or so. Hopefully it will not be too painful because nobody wants to see people suffer. The sheer inconvenience for our entitled society will be enough to shake things up. Of course there will be the witch hunt and the blame game, but it will be a chance for people to get to grips with some of the basics of energy security.

      • Gamecock permalink
        May 3, 2021 3:26 pm

        “Hopefully it will not be too painful”

        Then people won’t get the lesson.

  8. Broadlands permalink
    May 1, 2021 1:30 pm

    Another industry that is problematic are the carbon capture and storage facilities that are already expensive. But given the huge amounts of CO2 needed to reach NET-zero the cost per ton stored geologically will be astronomical and budget busters.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      May 1, 2021 2:04 pm

      This might be a silly reply but if carbon emissions costs do reach $100 per ton perhaps these carbon capture projects could become economic, much the same way subsidies make wind farms profitable. Its all connived of course. If you tax or subsidise enough you could make any funny tune technology viable.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        May 2, 2021 3:18 pm

        But only until you run out of money to pay the subsidies. Then the activity stops to prevent further haemorrhage, but there is nothing to replace it so the economy is collapsed. It’s the same cycle we see in dictatorships (where the money is extracted by the dictator to the same effect).

        Of course, it is a form of dictatorship.

  9. Ray Sanders permalink
    May 1, 2021 2:02 pm

    Now out of the EU there is still some hope for the UK providing someone can politically
    re-engage the population. In 1950 84% of the population voted, by 2001 that had dropped to just 59.4%. Clement Attlee managed almost the same number of votes as Boris Johnson despite the huge population growth and decrease in voting age to 18 in the meantime.
    In the 2019 election the landslide winner with 15.6 million votes were those people registered but who could not be bothered to actually vote. Something is seriously wrong.
    All the main parties are now wedded to absurd Green agendas but the public most certainly is not beyond any shadow of a doubt.
    If we take the example of the Cumbrian metallurgical coalmine. The option is to employ our own people to mine our own coal to make our own steel with British workers. As Harold Wilson famously said “One man’s spending is another man’s employment.” Furthermore we could export surplus coal, steel and indeed manufactured finished products i.e. wind turbines to actually earn foreign capital. Alternatively it seems all main parties say “Climate Change bullshit” says we should simply send our money abroad (employing nobody here) for them to use their coal, their steel and make wind turbines for them to earn yet more money from us….and all of this at what would actually be a higher “carbon footprint ” when the transport is included.
    We do still have enough infrastructure and expertise to redevelop our economy back to that of a major industrial and manufacturing nation (e.g. the recent article on Rolls Royce Small Modular Reactors) but only if a new political force emerges to pragmatically motivate the majority. Any candidates that anyone knows of?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 1, 2021 9:12 pm

      Well said, Ray.

  10. Penda100 permalink
    May 1, 2021 7:55 pm

    And the German Greens have just won a court case against their government for not going fast enough with implementing policies to fight climate change aka destroying jobs.

  11. markl permalink
    May 2, 2021 4:05 pm

    The Russian revolution never really ended, it just went stealth, and the goal is world wide Marxism. AGW is just one of the tools to achieve it. Another tool is wealth distribution. In America you can add racial division. Once they’ve destroyed Capitalism who can they rob to finance their One Government?

  12. Charles Rasp permalink
    May 3, 2021 2:32 pm

    Jordan May 2, 1200PM
    Just reading Lindsay & Pluckrose “Cynical Theories”. Failure of the ideology is not an option. From being disagreeable, the anti – civilisationists move to coercion and violence. Classic cultism and ideological blindness.
    We may have to fight for survival in the end.

  13. Charles Rasp permalink
    May 3, 2021 2:38 pm

    Penda100 May 1 7:55
    Classic Linsky play: Use the oppressors own rules to defeat them.
    Who wrote these laws, and did they understand and risk management the potential damage from bad actors?
    Answer is no.
    Chickens are coming home to roost for those unwilling to properly assess the risks of their unsustainable climate laws.

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