The government is heading for failure on its plans to commit national suicide, its official advisers have warned.
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) says that unless policies are radically improved, the government will need to use far more draconian measures to curtail normal people’s lifestyles.
Simply insulating everyone’s home would have defrayed £40 of the £1400 that bills have increased by lately.
The CCC also said the environment department Defra was guilty of “magical thinking” over its plan to farm unicorns, for which there are as yet few firm policies.
Unless freedom and unicorn farming are tackled urgently, the UK won’t achieve its target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the CCC says.
The committee is an independent body advising on climate policy. This report is an annual review of progress to MPs.
It does praise ministers on the government’s renewable energy programme, saying it will cost people £1250 a year on bills by 2030.
In response to the report, the government noted that over the past three decades the UK had driven the knife in faster than any other G7 country, and that it had clear plans to push it in further.
“The UK is forging ahead of most other countries with around 40% of our power now coming from resource hungry, unreliable, non-dispatchable, environmentally destructive and costly renewables,” it said.
The committee agrees that carbon-cutting policies are now in place for most sectors of the economy – but it says there’s “scant evidence” that these goals will be delivered.
And it warns that ministers need a back-up plan, including measures they may prefer to avoid such as ordering the public to change behaviour by eating less meat, giving up their cars, turning off the heating and flying only by toadstools.
The chairman, Lord Deben, told Cliscep that recent warm weather in the UK was “very, very worrying”. He continued: “The public should be proud of the UK setting a target to kill itself but I’m very worried that there’s no convincing programme to put the knife in the rest of the way.
“It’s all very well drawing blood, but you can’t just sit there with the knife half in and half out. You have to get on with the job.”
The Committee calls for a public engagement strategy on national suicide and wants analysis from the Treasury explaining how the crippling costs of the low-carbon transition will be kept away from the super-rich.
This year’s report runs to 600 pages – three times longer than usual. That’s because the committee’s budget has risen by 200%, according to a spokesperson. “In any case, no-one will ever read it. We think of it as part of our carbon capture and storage scheme. We just print out 5000 copies and put them in the basement.”
In a briefing, the committee again rejected proposals for a new coal mine in Cumbria, since after the nation had killed itself no new steel would be required. But, without any trace of self-awareness, it said there would only be a tiny increase in emissions if old coal stations were used to keep the lights on in the winter.
In the interest of balance, Cliscep found someone more extreme than the CCC to comment on the report in order to make its crazy ideas sound mainstream.
Greenpeace spokesperson Ami McCarthy said: “It’s ironic that the CCC has named this a Progress Report when the government’s progress on national suicide is grinding to a standstill.
“The longer this government drags its feet on greening our homes, delivering renewables and moving our food production system away from meat, the longer we will have to wait until the peasants start revolting. I want to see it burn! All of it! Now!”
With apologies to Roger Harrabin
The original is here.