Stubborn, thick, petulant Theresa May has decided what her legacy is going to be: she’s going to poison the wells, salt the earth, and make damn sure that her name lives on through all eternity as the stroppy cow who cost the UK economy £1 trillion.
That’s her Chancellor Phil Hammond’s estimate of how much it will cost to implement her legally binding ‘Net Zero’ commitment — to be passed by parliament on the nod, apparently with no scrutiny whatsoever — to 100 per cent decarbonise the UK economy by 2050.
Previously — under the terms of the disastrous and pointless 2008 Climate Change Act — the target was an 80 per cent reduction. Since this was largely a virtue-signalling exercise in the dog days of the last Labour government, dreamed up by an activist called Bryony (now Lady) Worthington from the hard left Friends of the Earth and Environment Secretary Ed Miliband, many thought that this would be one of the first things a Conservative government would repeal when it got into power.
Not a bit of it. Theresa May has responded to the challenge as only the Worst Ever Prime Minister knows how: “You think the Climate Change Act was the most idiotic bit of legislation in British history? Hold my Chardonnay!”
So now, instead of a ludicrously impossible CO2 reduction target of 80 per cent by 2050, Britain will now be committed to comically, risibly, absurdly impossible CO2 reduction target of 100 per cent.
Since Britain is responsible for around one per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions, this act of unilateral economic disarmament — higher taxes, the death of what remains of British industry — would have only a negligible effect on climate change.
According to Bjorn Lomborg, writing in The Telegraph, the notional reduction in ‘global warming’ by the end of the century would be 0.014 degree C. That’s 14/1,000th of a degree.
The UN’s climate scenario modelling shows that reaching net zero carbon around 2050 (a scenario in which we keep temperature rises to 1.5°C) would cost 5.3 per cent of GDP by 2050.
For the UK, that would mean an annual cost of £187 billion by 2050. And that is based on the heroic assumption that for 30 years politicians manage to consistently implement the most efficient policies imaginable, using a single carbon tax, while avoiding any gilets jaunes-style backlash even as the measures force up the cost of living.
Studies show that in the real world where policies are not implemented efficiently, it is more likely the cost would double – meaning £374 billion annually. That’s more than the UK currently spends on health, education, police, courts, defence, environment, housing, recreation and culture.
The piece is titled: “This Climate Madness has to end.”
Which indeed it will, eventually, as the reality of this frivolous gesture politics kicks in and people start to wonder why they are experiencing black outs and brown outs in a supposedly first world economy, why business is becoming less competitive, and why unemployment and the cost of living are shooting up.
In the meantime, most of the main candidates in the Tory leadership contest — including runaway favourite Boris Johnson — are supporting Theresa May’s plan wholeheartedly…