BEWARE politicians setting targets.
Because few are met, and their implications are rarely fully considered.
Such is the case with the Government’s latest announcement on cutting our carbon emissions.
While we must reduce our reliance on fossil fuel, whatever replaces it must work, be affordable and not damage our economy.
With the UN Climate Change summit in Glasgow in November, I predicted a radical raising of the bar.
And so it has.
The UK target was ‘net zero’ by 2050; now we’re aiming for 78 per cent of that by 2035.
And, for the first time, aviation and shipping have been flung into the pot.
The cost alone is staggering – around £50 billion a year by 2030, according to the Climate Change Committee.
Where is the plan, and who is going to pay?
Technology has already seen more efficient engines in the airline industry, which is on its knees because of the pandemic.
Developing alternative fuels takes years, quite apart from the cost implications.
And what about the effect on our vital steel industry?
I could go on.
Changing the goalposts for political expediency is not the way to treat a complex issue with many working parts, nor does it engender confidence.
It’s worth noting what we’ve achieved so far and this from a country that produces just 1 per cent of the world’s C02 emissions.
Compare that to China’s 28 per cent, the US’s 15 per cent, and India’s 7 per cent.
I don’t deny that our climate is changing, and that we must protect our environment, but the UK must act proportionately.
Not only that, but today’s politicians won’t be around when the full implication of these targets are felt.