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Calls for Boris Johnson to pause Net Zero policies after Auditor General warns costs risk spiralling out of control

June 20, 2022

By Paul Homewood



London, 20 June — Net Zero Watch is calling on Boris Johnson to pause Net Zero policies and spending plans after the UK’s Auditor General has warned that their costs risk spiralling out of control.

Climate policy group Net Zero Watch has welcomed the decision by the Auditor General to speak out over the cost of the Government’s decarbonisation policy. The UK’s spending watchdog has warned of a serious risk of cost and waste, as money is thrown at ill-considered schemes.



Gareth Davies, the Auditor General

Net Zero Watch director Benny Peiser said:

For someone as senior as the Auditor General to intervene in this way shows just how serious things are getting. We have been warning for years that radical decarbonization policies are out of control, and wildly expensive and regressive. With an economic and social disaster looming this winter, it is urgent that the Net Zero agenda is put on hold for the duration of the cost of living crisis.”

Steve Baker MP said:

Thank goodness the cause of socially, economically and politically viable Net Zero policy is going mainstream. Hopefully at last we can have a serious conversation about how we reach Net Zero without all the hysterics which divert attention from disastrous realities.”

Craig Mackinlay MP, chairman of the parliamentary Net Zero Scrutiny Group, said:

The government’s policy of achieving Net Zero at any price and at an arbitrary date has been forensically taken apart as a fruitless ambition by the National Audit Office (NAO). We’re now seeing a reality check as the various ‘greenwash’ initiatives are being shown not to work. They cannot produce reliable, economic energy and the costs of immature technologies to be borne by the public directly or through taxpayer subsidy are seen to be shambolic and wasteful.”



As far as I know, this is the first such intervention by an official agency.

It is doubly ironic, because the same National Audit Office which published a report two years ago called “Achieving Net Zero”, which admitted it had no idea of the costs but included this gem:


The fact that eliminating UK emissions will have Zero Effect on the world’s climate seems to have eluded the NAO back then.

Hopefully they might now start to do what they were set up to do, and that is to hold government to account and provide value for money for taxpayers; something they totally failed to do in 2020..

  1. June 20, 2022 4:04 pm

    Too funny – except we’re all paying towards these vast sums.

  2. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    June 20, 2022 4:11 pm

    Net zero is a very stupid idea and anyone who believes in it should stop exhaling CO2, right now.

  3. Tim Leeney permalink
    June 20, 2022 4:25 pm

    Welcome this step for now, and dismantle Net Zero a little later, is my suggestion.

  4. Peter Murray permalink
    June 20, 2022 4:28 pm

    It seems completely unreasonable to force the public, through their energy bills, to pay for such a crackpot idea as Net Zero. This enforced ‘investment’ must be reversed before many people are pushed into a financial hell-hole by this Government.

    • William George permalink
      June 20, 2022 6:52 pm

      The difficulty is persuading the Johnsons, Goldsmiths and Deben and the CCC to see sense. To stop trying to impose upon us immature technologies.

      • June 20, 2022 7:24 pm

        You’d have thought that was the job of the Labour Party!

      • Gerry, England permalink
        June 21, 2022 11:47 am

        Paul, Labour are still trying to work out how many penises a woman can have to come up with any serious policies. The irony is if Labour went back to its roots it would have solid conservative policies and would win easily.

  5. Harry Passfield permalink
    June 20, 2022 4:45 pm

    “the cost of inaction…”
    Other than Stern’s wet dream of cost estimates no-one knows what the costs are – either way, except that we are beginning to know what he cost of ruinables is.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      June 21, 2022 8:47 am

      I know what it is – zero. As the HSBC guy correctly stated, costs in 20 years or more are zero if discounted at any sensible discount rate to today. Stern used an absurdly low discount rate to show we ought to do something but that was simply fradulent. His justifications had nothing to do with discount rates. But they show he understood the issue. Tye simple fact is climate change has net benefits for many years. Its costs only accrue decades out. That is why we have seen increasingly strident and hysterical claims about “climate emergencies” and “extremes” that are not backed by the science.

  6. James Coupe permalink
    June 20, 2022 5:20 pm

    Many of us do not believe there is a crisis at all and that reducing CO2 levels will actually damage the planet and restrict the significant growth in plant life aka agriculture.

  7. June 20, 2022 6:07 pm

    That was (and still is) one of Nigel Lawson’s best arguments for doing nothing, that any additional cost of adaptation (beyond normal resilience to bad weather and coastal erosion) will be borne by future generations, who will be much richer than the present one.

    • June 20, 2022 6:57 pm

      To be richer they’ll need a successful UK economy. Expensive and/or restricted energy would be a brake on such an economy.

  8. Buelligan permalink
    June 20, 2022 6:15 pm

    How can True Believers ask for a pause? Doesn’t that mean their World will end in less than 10 years?
    (Asking for a friend, as I’m 82 & an Unbeliever.)

  9. 2hmp permalink
    June 20, 2022 6:36 pm

    This Conservative Government does appear to be in a mess and is not helping itself by following fashionable concepts without due diligence. Powerful vested interests have somehow inveigled their way into it and garnered large sums to boost their commercial position. The Green Agenda (NetZero) is the prime example

    • bobn permalink
      June 21, 2022 12:06 am

      Yes, carrie is a trojan horse. Her family are all arch lib dems. Sneaking her into the Con party and boris’s bed has made Lib dem policy into con policy.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        June 21, 2022 8:39 am

        LibDems? They are Labour. Her parents founded/worked for the Independent and one grandfather was a Labour MEP. Of course that didstop her going to a very nice all-girls public school…

  10. markl permalink
    June 20, 2022 6:37 pm

    Reality catching up with the Green crowd is a lovely sight.

  11. It doesn't add up... permalink
    June 20, 2022 11:29 pm

    I intend to give a similar message to the BEIS Select Committee, who have called for evidence on the plans for a net zero grid by 2035 here:

    I already posted some summary answers to some of their questions, but I will back this up with detail. I would encourage anyone else who can assemble good arguments and some data to back them to have a go.

  12. Chilli permalink
    June 20, 2022 11:39 pm

    > Steve Baker MP said:
    > Thank goodness the cause of socially, economically and politically viable
    > Net Zero policy is going mainstream. Hopefully at last we can have a serious
    > conversation about how we reach Net Zero without all the hysterics…”

    Does he actually believe this cobblers or is he just operating within the Overton window? Is it impossible to criticise the costs and impacts of Net Zero without an equal amount of bowing and grovelling before the Net Zero target as a sensible and noble aim?

    If you concede that Net Zero must be achieved to avert world-ending catastrophic global warming, you have already lost any argument you might be making about the costs or inconvenience of Net Zero. Baker should drop the boiler-plate shibboleths and just stick to criticising the massive costs and pointlessness of curbing the UK’s negligible CO2 emissions.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      June 21, 2022 8:41 am

      Politics is the art of the possible. Trying to convince people there’s no scientific basis for any of this is a waste of time.

  13. cookers52 permalink
    June 21, 2022 7:45 am

    This has already happened.

    The government did this.

  14. Dudley Marks permalink
    June 21, 2022 8:53 am

    Australia is in the midst of a serious winter shortfall of energy as we speak. Why?? The Climate Zealots do not think that renewables need to be 100% backed up by despatchable power regardless of whether it comes from coal, gas ,hydro or nuclear. “Collective Stupidity” is what I call it

  15. Phoenix44 permalink
    June 21, 2022 8:53 am

    “HM treasury will investigate how these costs could be shared between government, businesses and individuals.”

    Did a grown up write that?

    Every single penny will be paid by individuals. Businesses are legal fictions. Any costs are paid by consumers (thtough revenue), staff (through lower wages) or by investors, all ultimately individuals. It is this sort of complete economic illiteracy that plagues modern government.

  16. Neik Turner permalink
    June 21, 2022 1:13 pm

    It’s still concerning that the apparently sensible Steve Baker wants to get to net zero.
    Fails at first base.

    • that man permalink
      June 21, 2022 10:28 pm

      Baker’s comment is complete drivel from beginning to end, and it’s disappointing that Net Zero Watch saw fit to include it.

      Even Benny Peiser is weak-kneed when he writes: “…it is urgent that the Net Zero agenda is put on hold for the duration of the cost of living crisis.”
      No. Net Zero is vacuous virtue-signalling vanity which should not be ‘put on hold’ for any ‘duration’, but scrapped in its entirety with immediate effect.

      • that man permalink
        June 21, 2022 10:49 pm

        ….followed by diligent and determined damage-limitation to haul us back from sovereign default.

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