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Lord Frost warns: Hurtling towards net zero at any cost will be a mistake

May 20, 2023

By Paul Homewood


If only we had more guys like David Frost with a bit of common sense:



With 800,000 British car-making jobs on the line because we’re not making enough batteries for electric vehicles, leading motor manufacturers are demanding renegotiated trade rules with the EU to give us more time to catch up.
Lord Frost, Britain’s chief negotiator for Brexit from 2019 to 2021, is clear where the fault is.
“The underlying problem is that we’re rushing at electrification of cars far too fast for the technologies we’ve got,” he insists.
“What it shows is that the expectation we had in the trade agreement when we negotiated it was that things would have moved by 2024, and that is not true.”
Vauxhall’s parent company, Stellantis, told MPs earlier this week that it would be unable to keep a commitment to make electric vehicles in the UK without changes to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU.
From next year, under the agreement, 45 percent of an electric vehicle’s parts should originate in the UK or EU to qualify for tariff-free trade between the two.
Without meeting the requirements, cars made in the UK would face a 10 percent tariff if sold in the EU – ­rendering them uncompetitive. Electric car batteries are mainly sourced from Asia and can be up to 50 percent of a car’s value.
But it’s not only car manufacturing, Lord Frost believes, but that is also under intense pressure from the rush to achieve net zero – a government commitment to ensure the UK reduces its greenhouse gas emissions by 100 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Express, Lord Frost insists: “Everyone can see we’re not ready. The [electricity supply] grid is not ready, the costs are too high; all we’re doing is needlessly causing problems for our own industry.”
Not only that but the poorest are hit hardest by the transformation.
“We are told constantly that net zero 2050 is not only something that must be done, but it’s also something that’s going to be good for you and is going to increase economic growth and everyone’s going to be better off,” he says.
“I don’t think that is true. We are replacing a lot of perfectly good ways of generating electricity with gas and nuclear for bad ways of generating it with wind and solar, so why would you not expect costs to go up?
“If we’re requiring poor technologies like heat pumps to be installed then that’s going to hit the poorest worst. If it’s good technology, people will install it anyway.
“If it’s bad and expensive technology, the Government has got to make people do it.”
Once dubbed the “greatest Frost since the Great Frost of 1709” by Boris Johnson, the 58-year-old is considered by many Tories to be a leading voice of common sense and even a potential future party leader.
A ­former diplomat, civil servant and Minister for State, he will be giving the annual lecture next week at the Global Warming Policy Foundation.
He strongly believes the Government’s policy of net zero going too fast will cause considerable damage to the UK economy, making us all poorer, especially the less well-off.
Lord Frost does not dispute that climate change is happening. Nor is he repudiating the need for green policies to combat global warming.
“But that’s not the same as saying we’re in climate crisis or emergency, and it’s not the same as saying the only choice we have is to do net zero by 2050,” he says.
“Those are political choices – they’re not scientific choices. And with all political choices, you’ve got to weigh up the pros and cons; the costs against the benefits. And that’s what we’re not doing. You don’t have to deny science to say we need to look at the way we’re going about this and whether it makes sense.”
Lord Frost says what’s especially frustrating about this debate is that many people assume if you’re sceptical about net zero then you’re not interested in protecting the environment. “They’re not the same thing at all,” he insists.
“We all want a cleaner environment. That has nothing to do with the net zero ideology. When this country was first industrialising, the environment was much more polluted than it is now. What has enabled us to improve the environment is economic growth; more efficient ways of doing things. When we get richer, we can spend on clearing up pollution.”
With China set to dominate the electric car market in Europe, and the US supplying us with shale gas, the former minister is incensed we are making other countries richer while making ourselves poorer.
“It obviously makes no sense as a policy,” he says. “As a country, we’re [responsible for] about two per cent of global emissions. We could shut down the British economy tomorrow and it would make no difference to the nature of the problem.
“We are helping [China] by off-shoring our own production and making energy more expensive. We’re going along with that and making ourselves weaker. It makes no sense in a world that’s got more dangerous.”
Energy security has to be a prime concern for Britain, especially as we import so much of our energy from unreliable foreign nations.
“More than ever now, since the Ukraine War, we need an energy system that is productive,” says Frost. “One that we can rely on and we have control over. We’re going in the other direction. We’re installing unreliable technology that has to be backed up. The wind doesn’t blow all the time so you need a back-up to fill the gap. Well, why would that not be more expensive?
“Why not just have the back-up and forget about the wind farms? With our current state of technology, the idea that renewables are going to make us more secure seems to be a total fallacy.”
He stresses how it’s all the more frustrating when we know what the solution is.
“It’s gas, moving to nuclear – that’s the way of reducing emissions in a way that powers the economy,” Lord Frost adds.
“It isn’t reducing our capacity to produce energy, crushing the economy, and making people live in a different way. I don’t think people are going to put up with that.”
Lord Frost is exasperated by the current moratorium on shale gas exploration.
“We have so much shale gas in this country that we could be tapping. A shale gas facility that’s about the size of Parliament Square can produce the same amount of power as a wind farm 10 times the size of Hyde Park.
“This is not a disruptive technology unless your vision of the future is that we don’t have any industry. All of us politicians have to care about voters but I think, in the interest of the country, you have to take on the argument.”
There’s a suggestion that we have removed the shackles of the EU, only to replace them with net zero.
“Yes, a lot of the net zero legislation is inherited through the EU and it is now in our hands to change it, but we don’t seem anxious to do so,” Frost says.
"I think people have got captured by this ideology. They believe the messaging without thinking about it rigorously.”
Full interview

  1. johnbillscott permalink
    May 20, 2023 8:13 pm

    The YouTube video referenced on 17 May in NALOPKT, is an excellent primer for Joe Public and even our politicians may get the gist if they had the intelligence to view it.

  2. Gamecock permalink
    May 20, 2023 8:57 pm

    ‘Not only that but the poorest are hit hardest by the transformation.’

    Whah! Whah!

    Not to worry; Net Zero will kill all equally dead.

  3. Realist permalink
    May 20, 2023 10:10 pm

    The car making jobs are on the line because the actual market does not want electric cars. None of them are at least as practical as proper cars with petrol and diesel engines and they are simultaneously more expensive.

    • rasasayangholdingsinc permalink
      May 21, 2023 12:49 am

      A persons choice of motor vehicle is very personal. Individual demand for a motor vehicle is very elastic. Replacement can be chosen any time between 1 year old and 20+ years old. Yee most people don’t want to spend a chunk of cash on an expensive commuter. My 21 year old V8 is will likely see out my driving life.
      Be buggared if some Woke politician tries to tell me when to get rid of my car and what to replace it with. I may get to old to drive but I won’t be too old to vote out a woke government.

    • May 21, 2023 5:21 pm

      Yes and could hurtChinese expansioism

  4. May 20, 2023 10:59 pm

    Yes, and dire selling on returns, Lithium inextinguishable fires, range anxiety and everything concernimg charging. So much more.

  5. rasasayangholdingsinc permalink
    May 21, 2023 12:42 am

    Of all the Global Warming silliness……..
    Net Zero by far is the Silliest. No one can explain how what or why is “net zero”
    Every single second of every single day every individual is 100% dependant on fossil fuels. Yes fossil fuels that are so damn good at what they do nothing as yet comes close to the purity and simplicity and abundance of fossil fuels.
    Made with rain, sun and vegetation, it is the most definitive recycled resource in existence. Every second of every day CO2 and Oxygen are playing out their eternally repetitive recycle Tango.

    • George Lawson permalink
      May 21, 2023 11:07 am

      I am still uncertain as to what Net Zero is supposed to achieve if we ever get there. Will we all feel better? will the sunshine be better? will the world’s economy be better? Will it improve our health? Will it produce cheaper food and reduce starvation across the world? etc, etc. It was Mrs Theresa May who forced this ridiculous legislation on the British people when she was Prime Minister, so she must be the one to best answer my ignorance on the subject.

      • May 21, 2023 11:51 am

        She has a pleasant speaking voice.
        Otherwise no assets.

      • Broadlands permalink
        May 21, 2023 12:59 pm

        Net Zero, by definition means that we take out as much CO2 as has been put in. Carbon neutrality. It is obvious that as we are adding ~40 billion tons a year that goal is absurd. Five tons a piece for eight billion people???

    • May 21, 2023 5:22 pm


  6. Phoenix44 permalink
    May 21, 2023 10:02 am

    “Those are political choices – they’re not scientific choices. And with all political choices, you’ve got to weigh up the pros and cons; the costs against the benefits.”

    Absolutely the key point. EVs are not a scientific choice. They are a solution chosen by politicians. And the choice to have a solution at all is political, not science. The public has largely been fooled into believing that “science” says we must have wind power and EVs but this is false.

    • Realist permalink
      May 21, 2023 11:37 am

      A solution to a problem that does not even exist. This is the issue: the politicians are inventing “problems” and then “discovering solutions” to those imaginary problems.

      >>EVs are not a scientific choice. They are a solution chosen by politicians

    • May 21, 2023 5:23 pm

      That is reflecting the whole AGE scam.

  7. George Lawson permalink
    May 21, 2023 10:54 am

    I wish Lord Frost would also recognise that global warming is not happening beyond the miniscule amounts that temperatures have increased each year for the past hundreds of years, and that climates and standards of living are today infinitely better than at any time across the Worlds history. Sadly it is the global warming zealots who constantly shout that we are all doomed and that the world has no future unless we change that which is good for that which is bad.

  8. gezza1298 permalink
    May 21, 2023 12:12 pm

    I suspect that Stellantis would like to stop manufacture in the UK as our energy costs to industry are some of the highest in the world. Germany is haemorrhaging car production to cheaper countries, even within Europe.

  9. billydick007 permalink
    May 21, 2023 2:48 pm

    Common sense and good judgement from The House of Lords–who’d a thunk’d that? But welcome it is. Eventually someone in either the HOL or a MEP will just come out and state the obvious: Net Zero is a dangerous fantasy designed by the CCP owned WEF to destroy the economies of the West from within, as prelude to the eventual kinetic war to follow. C’mon, Man–somebody just say it already.

  10. CheshireRed permalink
    May 21, 2023 3:57 pm

    If Lord Frost was PM the Tories would be conservative, their policies would be rational and viable and their margin of general election victory would dwarf Boris Johnson’s 80 seat landslide.

    The UK would be doing so much better than present, where almost nothing works.

    Instead we have dripping wet fake Tory traitors everywhere and are reaping the benefits via the worst policy betrayal in living memory.

    No wonder he wants to revoke his peerage and stand as an MP again. The next Conservative party leader by a mile.

    • May 21, 2023 5:28 pm

      With Sir John Major as Chancellor

      Nail-on -head comment, CheshireRed-thanks.

  11. Ken Anthony permalink
    May 21, 2023 10:09 pm

    Hello Mr Homewood,

    Forgive me but I am not replying to this email but to get your view on another matter. I have been astounded at seeing for the first time, on GBNews, Neil Oliver’s guest Mr Tom Burke of whom you undoubtedly must know of. His web page and Wikipedia entry would give the impression from his background that he is someone to take account of on his views which will save the world if we agree with his solutions.

    An example of his writing from his website:-

    ‘The next thing you need is energy that is affordable and secure, and that is exactly what you are going to get from renewables, provided that you create the right market conditions, and our market prices everything at the price of gas. The next thing is that you have got to invest in storage.

    The cost of batteries has gone through the floor, in the same way as renewables have, and for exactly the same reason: because governments have started the ball rolling on investment, and then markets have picked it up and rolled it forward. One problem we have, which is very irritating, is that we are paying people to switch off renewables at night, because we can’t store the energy. Instead of switching that energy supply off, you could use it to make hydrogen, and providing you can store it, it can solve the energy security issue. The main problem that we have is that there is no consistency, at all, in government, and what investors require, above all, is consistency.’

    He may be able to but he does not mention what batteries he is referring to, the manufacture and disposal of them, the amount of greenhouse gases produced in manufacturing the renewables technologies and the fossil fuels needed, what storage he has in mind etc., etc.

    Although I had never heard of him he must be very influential, and dangerous, or am I wrong?

    I hope you can give me some idea of his position – thank you.

    Dennis Anthony

    • May 22, 2023 8:31 am

      Have you got his website?

      Apparently he writes for the Guardian!

  12. Chilli permalink
    May 22, 2023 9:14 am

    Lord Frost gives too much ground to the alarmists:

    > he does not dispute…the need for green policies to combat global warming.

    So he accepts all the bogus arguments of the left about the need to ‘save the planet’ from AGW – he’s just arguing about how much to spend doing it. An idiotic position – guaranteed to lose.

  13. Jack Broughton permalink
    May 27, 2023 11:06 am

    While Frost does not address AGW theory, this should be questioned a lot more as below.

    The global warming that has occurred since the LIA is ascribed to “Greenhouse gases largely as a result of a paper by Svante Arrhenius. This approach was used by Hansen in his 1988 justification for AGW action. However, the Arrhenius model is a simple planetary heat balance and is a gross oversimplification of reality. This postulates that a planet is heated by solar radiation to a uniform temperature which balances with the energy leaving.

    The well-established theory is :
    Q(in) = S. (1 – A). pi. R^2…………………………………………………………. 1
    Q(in) is the solar input to earth with S the solar constant, A the albedo, and R the Earth’s radius.
    This is then balanced by the amount the Earth radiates out. The radiated energy per unit area is found from the Stefan-Boltzmann law:
    where Tiso is the isothermal-globe absolute temperature and sigma the Stefan-Boltzmann constant. And since Earth is a sphere, its total area is 4 pi R^2, so the total amount radiated to space is
    Q(out) = 4 pi. R^2 .sigma. Tiso^4………………………………………….. 2
    Equating Q(in) with Q(out):-
    S (1 – A). pi. R^2 = 4. pi. R^2. Sigma. Tiso^4………………………………… 3
    Resolving this equation, the Earth’s radiative equilibrium temperature is
    Tiso = {S. (1 – A) / (4. sigma)} ^ ¼ …………………………………………. 4
    Where, for the planet Earth,
    S = 1372 watts per square meter
    A = 0.305
    sigma = 5.67 x 10^-8 W/m2/K^4
    This model produces the oft-cited planetary temperature for Earth of 255 K (-18 C), which is obviously wrong as the measured mean value is about 14 C (287 K). In terms of physics, to have an isothermal planet would require infinite thermal conductivity, while the earth has a very low value. The earth ha a daytime average of about 22.2 C. However, instead of reformulating the incorrect model physically (i.e. to match reality) a “Greenhouse Gas” effect was invoked to explain the difference. This mystical property of more or less transparent gases, has produced many years of incorrect science, wrongly demonising Carbon Dioxide.

    The moon is an interesting case of very slow rotation with massive diurnal variation and insignificant water or atmospheric effect. NASA, (Christie, Plachta, and Hasan), developed a model allowing for the transient conduction based energy storage over the “day”, without which the unlit side of a planet would tend to 0 K unless surface emissivity were to be zero : thus, energy is received during the day period, stored under the surface by conduction, then released at night. This model reasonably explains all of the diurnal variances on the moon surface.

    This diurnal form is logical, but for earth much harder to calculate as most (about 90 %) of the world’s energy storage is in the oceans which involve convection and phase changes between day and night: whereas the moon’s storage can be modelled by relatively simple transient conduction theory.

    If the planetary simple model above is modified to reflect the fact that earth is heated on one side only the earth temperature would, using the method in equation 4, be given by :

    Tday = {S. (1 – A) / (2. sigma)} ^1/4 ………………………………………. 5

    i.e.: Tday = Tiso * 2^.25

    As with equation 2, the daytime heat loss, from one side only, is
    Qday(out) = 2. E.pi. R^2 .sigma. Tday^4 ……………………………………. 6

    Where E is the earths emissivity, approximated by E = 1-A as there is no transmission through the earth.

    This provides a day-time earth surface temperature of 302 K, which is significantly above the measured average of 287 K. It is also above the earth’s day-time average of about 295 K.
    The reason for the differences is energy storage in the day with release at night.
    As a simple energy balance calculation, we can assume that the planet stores the excess energy (input minus surface emissions at the global-average daytime temperature of 22.2 C, using equation 6), and releases this at night.

    The storage that occurs during the day is then about 45 % of the solar input as in the table below:

    Units Daily
    Heat input per day ZJ 10.5
    Daytime emitted (S.B Law, equ 4) ZJ 6.0
    Stored energy during day ZJ 4.5
    Night emission = day storage ZJ 4.5

    This approach does not explain the welcome rise in the earth’s mean temperatures since the LIA, that could be release of the energy stored as entropy reduction during the LIA.

    What is important is that this analysis, coupled with the low atmospheric sensitivity to any of the so-called “Greenhouse-gases”, proved by David Coe here a few months ago, shows why the underlying hypothesis of the AGW theory is wrong.

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