In Cloud Cuckoo Land I pointed out that the Labour Party leadership are not the only politicians living in Cloud Cuckoo Land – Conservative Government ministers also occupy that mysterious place. In The True Cost Of Net Zero I alluded to the then pending “net zero review” that was promised by new Prime Minister, Liz Truss. The Government has just issued a press release confirming that the review is now to get underway.

The headline tells us that:

The review will focus on the UK’s fight against climate change maximising economic growth – while ensuring energy security and affordability for consumers and businesses.

I probably need write no more, since in that single sentence we have all the evidence we need that the Government lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

First, the UK cannot “fight against climate change”. Insofar as humanity can do anything about climate change (which is doubtful) it is certainly the case that a country with just 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions could – in theory, it probably can’t be done in practice – reduce those emissions to zero, but it wouldn’t make a jot of difference to climate change, especially while China, India, Russia and pretty much all of the developing world are committed to increasing their emissions (as they are).

Second, it should be abundantly obvious by now that all our efforts in this regard, far from “maximising economic growth,” have simply exported jobs and emissions to countries who are less picky about the level of their greenhouse gases.

Third, perhaps those in charge haven’t been paying attention, but the massive efforts and costs devoted to this agenda to date have left us with series crises, both in terms of “energy security” and a lack of “affordability for consumers and businesses.”

In other words, the entire premise of the review is hopelessly deluded.

It gets worse. One might have hoped that a “net zero review” would have looked at the whole policy of net zero, with a view, inter alia, to asking whether the policy was working or whether instead it was causing more harm than good. The reality of the “review”, however, is that net zero is sacrosanct, and isn’t to be questioned. Instead, the “review of net zero delivery by 2050 aims to ensure delivery of legally-binding climate goals are pro-growth and pro-business”. Furthermore, it is claimed that the review is to be “independent”, yet it is to be chaired by a prominent net zero advocate (one might even say fanatic), former Energy Minister, Chris Skidmore MP. One thing I think we can be sure of is that there will be absolutely no danger, under his Chairmanship, of anyone going off piste and questioning the basic premise of net zero.

Indeed, he was widely quoted in the course of the press release, and among other things, said this:

This review seeks to ‘double down’ on how we can ensure that our energy transition happens…

So that’s that then.

Following on through to the next page of the Government website we learn that “The government is committed to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.” So there is definitely no change there.

At this stage, we are then offered a link to the review’s terms of reference, but unfortunately it appears that they are a state secret, for the link doesn’t take the reader to them, and there seems to be no way of finding one’s way there. I do hope the eleven short paragraphs, which seem to add precious little to the press release, don’t constitute the terms of reference. But perhaps that’s all there is. Cloud Cuckoo Land.

22 Comments

  1. Did Mark Morano find an even bigger cuckoo in Nancy Pelosi’s “we saved the planet” speech . I think I’ll watch BBC Scotland’s ferry programme tomorrow night, might be some cuckoo’s flitting about in that aswell. Maybe I should stock up on magic mushrooms to understand it all a bit better.

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  2. “Net zero adviser in clash with Truss over fracking
    Government claims mining Britain’s shale reserves will boost energy security”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/09/26/net-zero-adviser-clash-truss-fracking/

    Liz Truss’s net zero adviser has risked a clash with Liz Truss after he warned fracking will be a “non-starter”.

    Conservative MP Chris Skidmore said he thought the practice was “not an opportunity for Britain” compared to emerging renewable technologies…

    The rest is behind a paywall, unfortunately.

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  3. Bein’ as they are from Cloud Cuckoo
    Land, you’d expect cuckoos to choose
    to be messengers of good news . ..
    Wouldn’t you?

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  4. Mark: Net Zero Watch stating the obvious, given that Telegraph piece.

    Cloudcuckoo-dom or normal Tory hypocrisy, with the massive existing profits of cronyism in mind?

    It doesn’t much matter. Hard-pressed voters will want to bite back in 2024 – if not before. But for Ed Miliband’s “fairer, greener future”? Really? Bullets into foot once again, comrades?

    The Times had a most interesting report from the Labour conference yesterday that revealed (to me anyway) what a surprise that slogan was to many. Here’s a brief excerpt:

    But doubts linger in a party scarred by repeated election defeats. In Liverpool, these misgivings focused on the conference slogan: “a fairer, greener future”. Several shadow cabinet ministers have openly professed bemusement at the party’s sudden focus on green issues after months of campaigning near-exclusively on the cost of living.

    Less dissent, but doubts still linger about direction of party

    Sorry that I have little time to express in full the hollow laughter I feel. Commiserations all. And thanks Mark for being willing to chronicle the bipartisan stupidity.

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  5. When you put two policy goals that are in obvious tension with one another down as essential, you end up with a logical incoherence. Because one (Net Zero) is seemingly carved in stone, the other (maximising economic growth) has to be the one to give way.

    The reality is that the road to Net Zero leads to vast inefficiencies and in due course impoverishment. I’m beginning to wonder whether it will actually save any carbon dioxide emissions, or whether they will all be exported, thanks to all the duplication and overbuild that will be required.

    The only way “fighting climate change” can make the UK richer is if we become the global leader in manufacturing wind turbines and solar panels from materials produced in this country. Then we can export them to the saps running other countries who have caught the climate change virus. The UK becoming the world leader in green energy exports – another province of Cloud Cuckoo Land, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. About half an hour ago Ed Miliband was interviewed on Radio 4’s “PM” programme. Miliband was asked, IIRC, whether the green policy had been thoroughly reviewed and costed. He replied that there was a document that set out all the details. However, he did not state what the document was called, nor whether it is available for public scrutiny.

    I have a horrible feeling that the contents of the aforesaid document will be at odds with the long-term forensic accountancy that has been undertaken by prof. Gordon Hughes (ex Edinburgh Uni.) showing that, for example, off-shore wind is terribly expensive. And all the more expensive when its external costs, namely back-up generation for when the wind does not blow, are factored into the costing.

    You call it Cloud Cuckoo Land. I call it Wendy House thinking. Let them call the whole thing off – and pronto.

    Regards,
    John.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. https://dailysceptic.org/2022/09/28/liz-trusss-net-zero-review-to-be-led-by-creator-of-current-policy/

    …Earlier this year, Chris Skidmore went to the United States to lead a study group at Harvard that was sold as follows: “A Study Group led by Senior Fellow and former U.K. Energy Minister Chris Skidmore will focus on the challenges of how to counter popular opposition to Net Zero policies.” This sounds like the perfect training for someone who is going to neutralise a Net Zero Review.

    Liz Truss and her Government seem willing to challenge the Green Lobby on some issues, for example by supporting fracking and the North Sea oil and gas industry, so it is disappointing that the Net Zero Review has been effectively nobbled by appointing Chris Skidmore to conduct it. We urgently need to ditch some of the ill-judged and intrusive Net Zero policies put in place by Boris Johnson and his Government. For example, the rush to build more and more wind farms and solar farms which will lead to power cuts and higher energy bills; forcing people to buy electric cars which are expensive and, for many people, inconvenient to use; having Government inspectors come into our homes to see if they meet approved energy efficiency standards. This is already happening for rented properties, how long before it is extended to all properties? Many older properties do not meet these energy efficiency standards and so costly works are required.

    These are the policies which urgently need reviewing. However, expect Skidmore to do nothing of the sort.

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  8. John Cullen – never forget, from Wiki –

    “On 3 October 2008, Miliband was promoted to become Secretary of State for the newly created Department of Energy and Climate Change in a cabinet reshuffle.[32] On 16 October, Miliband announced that the British government would legislate to oblige itself to cut greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050, rather than the 60% cut in carbon dioxide emissions previously announced.[33]

    In March 2009, while Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Miliband attended the UK premiere of climate change film The Age of Stupid, where he was ambushed by actor Pete Postlethwaite, who threatened to return his OBE and vote for any party other than Labour if the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station were to be given the go-ahead by the government.[34] A month later, Miliband announced to the House of Commons a change to the government’s policy on coal-fired power stations, saying that any potential new coal-fired power stations would be unable to receive government consent unless they could demonstrate that they would be able to effectively capture and bury 25% of the emissions they produce immediately, with a view to seeing that rise to 100% of emissions by 2025. This, a government source told the Guardian, effectively represented “a complete rewrite of UK energy policy for the future”.[35]”

    I call it Panto.

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  9. It already seems to be obvious that the Net Zero Review is to be no more than a review of methods to get there, not of the policy itself. The latest Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum policy conference, to take place on 14th October, is headed “Priorities for UK energy security – Government strategy, development of domestic energy sources, electricity market reform, and net-zero policy”.

    Read on through the conference agenda, and there’s no suggestion that anyone in a position of importance as regards energy policy is doing anything other than heading full wind ahead for net zero. Here are most of the speakers:

    George Anstey, NERA Economic Consulting; Guy Buckenham, EDF Energy; Tom Greatrex, Nuclear Industry Association; Kerry Hayes, Simply Blue Energy; Suzanna Hinson, Green Finance Institute; Amie Jones, Confederation of British Industry; Jade Lewis, Sustainable Energy Association; Neil McDermott, Low Carbon Contracts Company; Andy Manning, Citizens Advice; Chris Manson-Whitton, Progressive Energy; Manu Ravishankar, Innovate UK; and Barnaby Wharton, RenewableUK.

    Not a fossil fuel representative in sight. I could just have readily as posted this under Energy Through the Looking Glass Part Two, given its contents, e.g.:

    With discussion on current pressures, long-term priorities, and the Government’s energy security strategy, it will be a timely opportunity to assess the UK’s future energy mix and capacity to increase domestic supplies, while continuing to decarbonise electricity and power sources and protect consumers against rising energy costs.

    One section does talk about “outlook for the UK energy mix – the future role of renewables, nuclear, coal, oil, and gas”, but it doesn’t tell us what that future might be. I suspect (other than nuclear) the answer is pretty negative – for coal it will be very short-term (limited to keeping the lights on for the next year or two) and for oil and gas it isn’t sufficiently promising to encourage operators to commit to much if any new investment.

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  10. And bang on cue:

    “Net zero tsar Chris Skidmore: We won’t ditch target”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/net-zero-tsar-chris-skidmore-we-wont-ditch-target-cf3rxrnpx

    Liz Truss’s net zero adviser has said people should expect the government to issue bold green policies, not row back on efforts to reach climate goals.

    Chris Skidmore, the MP tasked by the prime minister to review whether the 2050 carbon target was a burden on business, said his report would bolster climate action, not dampen it.

    “It’s a review to catalyse the opportunities of moving to net zero, to ensure we come up with new policies to really accelerate the [energy] transition,” he told The Times…

    …Skidmore said he “100 per cent” ruled out the prospect of his report recommending the 2050 net zero goal be delayed or abandoned.

    The review will not look at fracking, he said, partly as he does not think it will be a “significant energy source” that helps the UK maintain security of supply. It will focus on six elements, including energy security, talking with the wind, solar and nuclear industries, and hearing how small and medium businesses can afford to cut emissions.

    Curbing emissions should be seen as an opportunity, not a burden, Skidmore said. “Net zero provides an opportunity for huge economic disruption, productivity and efficiency gains.”

    The report could recommend devolving more power to local authorities and city mayors, he said. Manchester wants to hit net zero by 2038.

    Asked about criticism over policies that would spur more fossil fuel use, such as a new licensing round for North Sea projects due in days, Skidmore said gas was part of the “energy transition”, adding that he would look at carbon capture to ensure that UK gas is “the greenest possible”.

    Skidmore said his greatest ambition for the review, due to be completed in December, is that it will frame net zero as an economic mission, not solely an environmental one….

    We’re doomed.

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  11. “Skidmore said his greatest ambition for the review, due to be completed in December, is that it will frame net zero as an economic mission, not solely an environmental one”

    wonder what that statement means – or is it bullsh+_t

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  12. “MPs issue 10-point environmental wishlist for Liz Truss
    PM urged to increase windfarm capacity and expand energy company obligation to make more homes efficient”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/18/mps-issue-10-point-environmental-wishlist-for-liz-truss

    Worth a read, IMO, to understand the terrifying extent of the groupthink in Parliament. However, the final paragraph is the stand-out one for me. Yet again, Caroline Lucas is able to use the Guardian to publicise her strange and inconsistent views:

    Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP, added that the prime minister must burnish the UK’s nature credentials before she travelled to the Cop15 biodiversity summit in Canada this December. “The UK has become one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. If we are to halt and reverse the perilous decline in nature and destruction of wildlife, then the targets set under the Environment Act must not only be credible and comprehensive, but, crucially, delivered,” she said. “Not only must our prime minister attend [the Cop15] summit, but our UK delegation must come to the table ready to take serious action both at home and on the world stage.”

    It never seems to occur to her that much of the decline in nature and destruction of wildlife in the UK is down to the devastating ecological impact of wind farms. Perhaps she’s never visited one? Sadly I’ve seen plenty, both in the course of, and after, construction. They make a desert and they call it green.

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  13. It seems that it isn’t only the Westminster government conducting reviews of things like net zero policy and energy policy, and it also isn’t the only one living in Cloud Cuckoo Land:

    “”No new oil and gas fields, say Scottish ministers”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-64209676

    The Scottish government has announced a presumption against new oil and gas exploration as part of its new energy strategy.

    Scottish ministers say they can no longer support the previous position of “maximising economic recovery” of fossil fuel reserves.

    Licensing new developments in the sector is reserved to Westminster.

    The Scottish government’s plan for the energy sector over the next 20 years is focused on boosting renewables.

    The draft energy strategy supports “the fastest possible just transition” away from oil and gas.

    It restates the long-standing opposition to new nuclear projects and calls on the UK government to reform the energy market…

    …The energy strategy suggests increasing the current level of renewable electricity generation capacity and speeding up the decarbonisation of domestic industry, transport and heat in buildings.

    Barking mad.

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  14. They don’t seem to realise that even if they completely stop burning oil and gas, they will still need it for rather a large proportion of the ingredients of modern civilisation. Plastics in particular spring to mind.

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  15. It appears that Chris Skidmore’s net zero review is in. Guess what? There is absolutely no questioning of net zero at all. Instead, we get this:

    “Sunak’s stop-start policies harming UK green investment, says net zero tsar
    Exclusive: Lack of confidence in ‘inconsistent’ government is huge barrier to investors, finds Chris Skidmore”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jan/12/rishi-sunak-stop-start-policies-harming-uk-green-investment-says-net-zero-tsar

    Skidmore cited agriculture as one of the main culprits of carbon emissions, and said its share of emissions could, by 2030, grow from 12% to 30%. To encourage people to eat more environmentally friendly foods, Skidmore recommended “eco-labelling” rather than a tax or ban on foods such as red meat.

    He also said that farmers had been disincentivised from farming in an environmentally friendly way by the confusion around the government’s post-Brexit nature-friendly agriculture payments, and that there had been missed opportunities for nature-based solutions with most policy focused on woodlands and peatland rather than many other carbon sinks such as wetlands.

    In the review, Skidmore called for a stable policy environment, with consistent support for renewables, as well as a reform of the way the government financially helps renewable energy projects to make that more attractive for investors.

    And guess what else?

    <But climate campaigners criticised the review for being unambitious and for not calling for strong policies to avert the climate crisis.

    Doug Parr, policy director for Greenpeace UK, said: “Whilst there is much useful analysis of the problem the review stops short of recommending the kind of muscular policies that would really drive change towards the massive growth in renewables which will be necessary.

    “Without a strong push from government the renewables revolution will still proceed, because the economic logic dictates it should. But it won’t happen at the pace it needs to in order to forestall some of the worst effects of climate change.”

    While the review says the UK needs a “rooftop revolution” for solar panels and suggests making planning decisions easier to enable this, it stops short of recommending mandates for solar panels on new builds, or more funding to encourage take-up.

    Parr added: “All credible scenarios of our future economy rely on renewable energy being the backbone of the future energy system, and the review should have said government needs to change the remit of the regulator to include net zero delivery, insist on solar panels being on new roofs, expand the scale of renewables contracts and rapidly lay out the location of the offshore electricity grid. Instead, the government seem like a mildly curious spectator, wondering why their aspirations aren’t materialising without ever intervening to make them happen.”

    Which is interesting, since it represents a clear admission that net zero isn’t going to happen on its own, and it requires government intervention (aka subsidies funded by hard-pressed taxpayers) and mandating policies that the public wouldn’t voluntarily subscribe to, in order to push it through.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. So Skidmore delivers his report to the Guardian, not the Secretary of State? Seems the BBC has seen a copy now: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-64257057

    To be honest, Skidmore seems to be on another planet. I cannot even begin to understand his thinking. It goes beyond absurd and into the category of “instantly refutable by anyone with several firing neurons.” I may dissect the report itself when it is published, for all the good it will do.

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  17. Jit,

    According to the BBC (or perhaps they are lifting the wording from the Skidmore review – I don’t know) “Net zero: UK is falling behind on race to curb emissions, warns review”.

    Whatever, Cloud Cuckoo Land it is:

    Delay on climate action also puts the UK at an economic disadvantage, the report says.

    It calls for 25 actions by 2025, including on onshore wind, eco food labelling, and phasing out gas boilers.

    And in three paragraphs, we see Cloud Cuckoo Land on display from 3 political parties:

    Labour’s shadow climate secretary, Ed Miliband, said ministers’ lack of “urgency and consistency” was “depriving our country of the economic opportunities climate action offers”.

    And Green MP Caroline Lucas said the review itself shied away from calling for “truly transformative measures to end our dependence on dirty, dangerous fossil fuels”.

    The government said the UK was leading the world on tackling climate change and developing green jobs for the future.

    Net zero democracy indeed. We also learn from the BBC report that the review was leaked to the BBC (and presumably also to the Guardian – direct or via the BBC?) ahead of its publication today. So, not only net zero democracy and Cloud Cuckoo Land, but contempt for Parliament too.

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  18. There’s more:

    In his conclusion, Mr Skidmore said the UK was in a “net-zero race” and delaying decisions risked losing jobs, infrastructure and investments to other countries.

    The UK, he said, had “reached a tipping point” where the “risks of ‘not zero’ are now greater than the associated risks of taking decisive action on net zero now”.

    So the “race” wording did come from Skidmore. It’s a race for sure – a race to the bottom. Note the use of that old chestnut “tipping point”, so beloved of climate alarmists. I look forward (sort of) to reading the report. I’d love to see the scientific justification for claiming that Britain (regardless of what the rest of the world does or doesn’t do) faces greater risks from not taking decisive action on net zero than from “not zero”. Scientifically and economically illiterate would be my view.

    The reality is, we can destroy what’s left of our economy by going for broke (literally) by “racing” to net zero, and if we do, it will make no meaningful difference to global CO2 emissions or to the climate. The snippets released by the BBC read to me like nothing other than quasi-religious zealotry.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. From the foreword to the review:

    As the former Energy Minister who was responsible for signing the UK’s net zero commitment into law forty-two months ago, it has been an honour to chair this Independent Review on Net Zero

    Surely that statement is an oxymoron?

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  20. “When will the Tories realise that Net Zero is a foolish fantasy?
    Their enduring commitment to these idiotic targets, regardless of circumstance, bears the imprint of a cult”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/01/16/net-zero-obsessed-tories-stuck-fantasy-land/

    Chris Skidmore helped drive the commitment to Net Zero through the House of Commons in the dying days of Theresa May’s government. Unfortunately, he seems to have spent the subsequent four years hiding beneath a large rock. His just-published review (commissioned by Liz Truss) into the Government’s target to reach Net Zero by 2050 is a triumph of messianic zeal over reality.

    He writes, for example, that there is a “clean and endless supply of wind blowing across the North Sea”. Where was he in December when Britain was becalmed in a frigid mass of Arctic air, when wind farms theoretically capable of generating 28 GW of electricity were at times struggling to generate half a gigawatt? Skidmore hardly even addresses the problem of intermittent green energy, weakly suggesting that the job might be done by batteries or by generating hydrogen when wind is plentiful – without even mentioning the costs of storing energy in this way. Estimates from the Pacific National Laboratories put it at $203 per MWh for hydrogen and $336 per MWh for lithium ion batteries – respectively around four and six times the cost of generating electricity from wind in the first place.

    Skidmore continues to repeat the fantasy that Britain’s Net Zero target is going to make us fabulously rich, growing GDP by two per cent and supporting 480,000 “green jobs”. Meanwhile, back in the real world, our manufacturing industry continues to drain away to Asia, not least thanks to soaring energy prices in Europe. The ONS calculates that in spite of the Government’s Net Zero initiative, Britain’s “green economy”, at £41.2 billion, is no bigger than it was a decade ago. It has actually shrunk since 2018, with most of the components for our wind and solar farms manufactured abroad.

    And no, renewable energy doesn’t promise us a golden future of cheap energy. As Anders Opedal, CEO of Norwegian energy giant Equinor, warns today, Europe faces a future of higher energy costs even as wholesale oil and gas prices comes down – perhaps because of Net Zero commitments which have shattered investment in oil and gas.

    Skidmore mentions in passing the hard-to-decarbonise steel and cement sectors – which face being driven abroad as they fall foul of Net Zero targets, taking jobs and wealth with them. He could also have added farming, chemicals, plastics, fertlisers – all which face going the same way. German chemicals company BASF, for example, recently announced it was going to downsize permanently in Europe thanks to high energy prices but will build a £10 billion plant in China nevertheless. When Skidmore pushed his legal commitment for Net Zero through Parliament in 2019 it was in the naïve belief that it would inspire other countries to follow suit. A few mainly European countries did emulate us, but the big emitters have shown no interest in doing so. China only has a vague ambition – not a legal commitment – to reach Net Zero by 2060 and has made it quite clear it won’t come at the cost of economic growth.

    Not that any of this will rub off on Skidmore and others, whose commitment to Net Zero bears the imprint of a cult, oblivious to reason.

    Needless to say, I agree with that, though I take issue with this:

    ” Estimates from the Pacific National Laboratories put it at $203 per MWh for hydrogen and $336 per MWh for lithium ion batteries – respectively around four and six times the cost of generating electricity from wind in the first place.”

    That massively under-estimates the cost of electricity generated by wind, and is to accept the propaganda (aka lies) put out by “green” zealots suggesting that wind power is “9 x cheaper” than gas. Just because the last round of CfDs may have come in at a price which comes close to supporting the statement above that wind power is around $50 per Mwh, it doesn’t mean that’s what it costs. So far as I’m aware there isn’t a single wind farm in the UK supplying electricity to the National Grid at that price, nor is there one generating it at that cost. I stand to be corrected on that, but even if I’m wrong, the average cost of wind energy generation in the UK in 2023 is very much higher than that.

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  21. Meanwhile, in Cloud Cuckoo Land:

    “Net zero tsar: Tories will lose election without strong climate policies
    Chris Skidmore, who this week launched report on how to reach emissions target, says party must take climate targets seriously”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jan/19/net-zero-tsar-chris-skidmore-tories-will-lose-election-without-strong-climate-policies

    The Conservatives will lose the next election unless they take climate targets seriously, the government’s own net zero tsar has said.

    This week Chris Skidmore launched a 300-page review setting out what the government must do to hit its legally binding decarbonisation target of net zero emissions by 2050. It was the result of three months of intense conversations with everyone from big business to eco-activists and opponents of climate action.

    Skidmore, 41, believes failure to adopt strong climate policies is bad not only for the planet but also for the Conservative party.

    The MP for Kingswood in south Gloucestershire says dithering and delay could help lead to the destruction of the planet, is costing the UK its international reputation and could be deadly for the Tory party if they are outflanked by rival parties on the issue.

    Skidmore believes the next election will be lost unless Rishi Sunak bucks his ideas up on climate. Though the prime minister pays lip service to net zero and often speaks of how passionately green his young daughters are, he has also greenlit a coalmine as well as new oil and gas drilling, taxed green electricity and is accused of seeming allergic to investment in renewables.

    Skidmore told the Guardian: “If the Conservative party does not get behind net zero, then they will lose votes. And I’m not a psephologist, but the amount of votes that they potentially will lose is significant. I think unless the Conservatives are serious about net zero and delivering on climate action, you have a perfect storm of potentially Conservative seats being lost either to Liberal Democrats in the blue wall or to Labour in the ‘red wall’.”

    It’s a long time since I’ve read anything quite so detached from reality. Whatever the merits or demerits of net zero, one thing is for sure, the Tories can only lose votes over this, not win them. The Greens, Labour, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and SNP are net zero zealots. They will always outflank the Tories on this issue. The Tories will never get credit for net zero policies from those in the centre or on the centre-left, whose votes they need to win the next general election. On the other hand, pursuing net zero will lose them votes in the red wall (if they have any votes left there) and from their natural supporters. Just about the Tories’ only chance of avoiding annihilation at the next general election is to ditch the net zero madness. That way they would differentiate themselves from the other parties in a way that gives energy and economic realists some motivation to vote for them. They have nothing else going for them.

    I am not a Tory and I don’t wish them well, but they can have that advice for free. If they listen to Skidmore they will be turkeys voting for an early Christmas.

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