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The EU’s Net Zero plan faces political blowback

June 1, 2021
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By Paul Homewood

 

Meanwhile Europeans are beginning to be worried about the costs about to be unleashed on them by the out of touch idiots in charge of the EU:

 

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At the start of the year, the German government quietly launched a novel system of carbon pricing that could revolutionise who pays for the cost of polluting in Europe.
Since January, the EU’s largest economy has introduced a de facto tax of €25 per tonne of carbon on petrol, diesel, heating oil and gas to ramp up the cost of dirty energy and incentivise greener ways of living. It means millions of Germans will be paying more at the petrol pumps and in their heating bills.


Germany’s experiment, known as the National Emissions Trading Scheme, is enlisting consumers to help the country meet its aggressive emissions reduction targets.
The German carbon pricing model may soon go Europe-wide. Brussels is using it as a blueprint for its plans to extend the emissions trading scheme — its carbon pricing market — to swaths of the economy this summer as part of its goal of becoming the world’s first net zero emissions continent by 2050.


Climate scientists and economists largely agree that putting a prohibitively high price on CO2 — using a market-driven system or more crude carbon taxes — is an indispensable way to encourage consumers and companies into switching to greener ways of living.


Frans Timmermans, EU vice-commissioner for the Green Deal, has hailed Europe’s carbon pricing instrument as a “cornerstone” of the EU’s environmental agenda “because it’s been so successful”.
“It has put a price on carbon,” he says. “It is a huge incentivising instrument and it is clear that we need to expand it.”


But even before the new scheme is introduced, it is generating a storm of opposition. For a growing number of EU governments and some green activists, Brussels ambitions’ risk throwing Europe’s poorest inhabitants further into energy poverty by making them shoulder the burden of the bloc’s rush towards net zero.
They fear that without an accompanying system of mass state subsidies and financial compensation, carbon pricing will be a regressive tool that will punish millions of Europe’s poorest families who live in rented or social housing and are stuck with petrol-driven cars — ultimately serving to undermine public support for the EU’s ambitious climate goals.
Europe’s politicians are acutely aware of the French experience, when President Emmanuel Macron’s 2018 plan for petrol tax rises prompted the gilets jaunes protest movement.
The political blowback has been so fierce it is still not guaranteed that Brussels will go ahead with the plan.
“Right now the people directly impacted by Europe’s carbon price are a few thousand companies rather than millions of people,” says Pascal Canfin, a French MEP and head of the European parliament’s environment committee. He warns that Brussels will have to offer ways to alleviate the hit on consumers who face higher electricity bills, or risk “creating a major economic shock for the poorest households”.

Full story (£)

5 Comments
  1. Harry Passfield permalink
    June 1, 2021 6:21 pm

    In my increasingly expanding village a large ‘old peoples’ home’ was demolished to make way for a very nice set of well-designed modern housing units (terraces) with 50/50 ownership. Each unit has space for and connection to an EV. However, although the village is pretty much all gas the council seems to have decided that the new homes must not be connected to he main. So, some very delightful homes ended up being totally rubbished when the builders installed very large cages by the front doors…..to hold industrial sized Calor gas bottles: two per cage! You could not make it up!

  2. Gerry, England permalink
    June 1, 2021 6:32 pm

    ‘Germany’s experiment, known as the National Emissions Trading Scheme, is enlisting consumers to help the country meet its aggressive emissions reduction targets.’

    Germany has quite a history of ‘enlisting’ people to help….

  3. ianprsy permalink
    June 1, 2021 6:57 pm

    The problem with this and the previous story is that, encouraged and financed by national government, councils are building enormous organisations and committing £millions to comply with the policy, all without local mandate. They don’t care that heat pumps won’t perform because they’re being fed rubbish by consultants who tell them what they want to hear.

  4. Mad Mike permalink
    June 1, 2021 7:20 pm

    A bit off topic here but Ross Clark of the DT wrote an article on the growing realisation that this green agenda was going to cost a fortune and in it he mentioned that solar farms are being built on farming land where you would be unlikely to get planning permission for housing. OK, but when the solar farm is decommissioned the land is deemed to be a brownfield site which has far less problems in getting PP for housing.

    I haven’t checked this and so i have to rely on Clark for it’s veracity but, if true, it would drive a coach and horses through our planning system and could encourage some solar farm owners to uproot their project prematurely and earn millions for the land without having to deal with the costs involved in running a solar farm.

  5. Mewswithaview permalink
    June 1, 2021 8:39 pm

    It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

    Thomas Sowell

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