Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Boris climbs into bed with the charlatans

A ban on selling new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars in the UK will be brought forward from 2040 to 2035 at the latest, under government plans.

The change comes after experts said 2040 would be too late if the UK wants to achieve its target of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050.

Boris Johnson unveiled the policy as part of a launch event for a United Nations climate summit in November.

He said 2020 would be a "defining year of climate action" for the planet.

The summit, known as COP26, is being hosted in Glasgow. It is an annual UN-led gathering set up to assess progress on tackling climate change.

It isn't easy to see the political calculation here. Is a loss of climate realist votes balanced by a gain in votes from the climate game? Seems unlikely. Maybe the next general election is too far ahead to matter and Boris and co have calculated that they may as well appease the stridency of the climate lobby rather than pick a battle they cannot currently win.

Meanwhile Boris cements his reputation as a cynical opportunist. It also tends to suggest that the upper middle class is cutting itself off from the rest of us. They can afford the gated community, the Tesla, the private power backup and high electricity prices.


Sam Vega said...

To me, it looks politically inept. People get stressy about cars, because they are hugely expensive and they are tied up with lots of lifestyle issues (work, holidays, schooling, etc) as well as status. Now, millions of people are thinking about their next car and worrying about buying an expensive pike of junk. On the radio this morning, Gove was ritually humiliated because the process has not even been costed.

wiggiatlarge said...

At the very least several well founded reports, including the National Grid, have estimated if all the plans go through with this we will need to double the electric output, at the moment we barely meet current demands, total lunacy.

I cannot believe that Boris or anyone else involved has not been informed on this and if they have what are they playing at.

Smoking Scot said...

This is what to expect. It's not just the charger, it's the real estate they need.

A K Haart said...

Sam - I can't decide between politically inept and politically cynical. Do Boris and co think it will be quietly dropped or modified before any political damage is done? Or have they simply failed to understand how hopelessly impractical it is? I can't tell.

Wiggia - I too can't believe that Boris and co have not been informed. Maybe they have merely decided to side with the politically stronger narrative for now.

Smoking Scot - thanks for the link - I haven't seen that one. I've been watching a number of Tesla videos lately and it is fairly obvious that charging queues can be a real pain even when they aren't as bad as that one. As if most people running EVs at the moment are real enthusiasts who will forgive almost any inconvenience.