Bringing the government’s plan of achieving net zero forward to 2025 is ‘practically impossible’ and would require EV output to triple. That’s according to new research…
Asking For The Impossible?
As it stands, the government has a target of realising net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But a number of political parties and environmentalist groups are campaigning for the date to be brought forward. The earliest date seriously proposed is 2025. But according to the centre-right thinktank Onward, such a plan isn’t feasible. It claims that the current date of 2050 is ‘huge’ and ‘necessary’, but will itself require exceptionally comprehensive planning. It claims that a 2025 date would cost a total of £200 billion every year; the equivalent of £7,300 for every household in the country. Decarbonising Britain’s car fleet alone would require 6 million motorists to swap their vehicles for EVs. For perspective, only 25,000 of drivers currently drive one and the transition would cost, according to Onwards, £1 trillion. Crucially, manufacturing output of EVs would need to increase three-fold to make such a transition possible.
A ‘Bold Practical Plan’
Despite its misgivings about bringing the date for net zero forward, Onward is calling for a ‘bold’ plan of action. Richard Howard, co-author of the thinktank’s report, believes any plan must be rooted within the status-quo. He argued, “this plan needs to be rooted in centre-right beliefs in open markets, prudence, pragmatism, and investment in innovation – to avoid UK competitiveness, hard pressed consumers or taxpayers being excessively hit”. That said, he did seem to betray a fear that the climate crisis could be exploited for political purposes contrary to his own. He said his approach was “essential to avoid the climate debate being used as a trojan horse to overthrow the market economy and impose state control”.
Onward’s report into net zero coincides with a cross-sector coalition calling for a post-election pact on the climate crisis. Some 40 academics, policy specialists, trade bodies and businesses have signed an open letter to political parties; asking them to agree to a pact. The letter said “in this current political environment, we need to ensure that high priority issues such as achieving Net Zero and the wider climate change objectives do not fall into the trap of partisan ideology”.
A Conflict Of Interests
Mainstream scientists agree that man-made climate change represents one of the greatest, if not the greatest, challenge of the 21st century; something that threatens that very foundations of society. For Onwards, the solutions lie within pre-existing political and economic structures; that innovation and planning within the context of the market can, and will, produce a carbon neutral society. It clearly fears the political ramifications of the state having to take a more active role in planning; something left-wing groups openly pursue. Critics, however, will argue that it’s precisely pre-existing structures that have produced the crisis; that growth for the sake of growth is simply unsustainable. Whilst Onwards report looked at broader issues than the automotive industry, it represents the enormity of the challenge even when single issues are isolated.
We find ourselves at an impasse, then. On one side of the debate, we’re told that we can’t make swift changes without radically disrupting, and indeed transforming, our economy. On the other side of the debate, we’re told that we risk losing everything if we don’t take action and immediately. Either way, EV manufacturers have their work cut out for them.
What Are Clean Air Zones – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-tips-advice/what-are-clean-air-zones/
10 Ways You Can Decisively Reduce Your Car’s Emissions – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/reduce-cars-emissions/