The London think tank Net Zero Watch, which confronts climate protection policy with reality, warned of Britain’s economic catastrophe due to a pseudo-green energy policy.
Except for Poland, with its demand for a revision of emission allowances, virtually no member state of the European Union has so far fundamentally opposed the EU’s policy, which is trying to meet the Green Deal’s ideological goals of reducing CO₂ emissions with a tough decarbonization course. The United Kingdom, which withdrew from the EU after a domestic referendum, was also hit hard by the energy crisis. As a result, electricity, and gas prices have risen sharply, and many energy suppliers have gone bankrupt.
Before the end of the year, the prominent London think tank Net Zero Watch, which confronts climate protection policy with reality, warned of Britain’s economic catastrophe due to a pseudo-green energy policy. In a press release, Net Zero Watch called on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to declare a state of energy emergency and introduce radical political reforms to prevent the energy cost crisis from turning into an economic and social catastrophe.
This challenge comes at a time of growing fears of a devastating energy cost crisis and energy security, with spiraling prices hitting households and businesses. Boris Johnson is considering distributing £ 20 billion of taxpayers’ money to energy suppliers who are in danger of doubling or tripling prices. In addition, as a result of the green policy, the United Kingdom has reduced the exploration, extraction, and fracking of its large natural gas reserves and has thus found itself in dire need, as it will be dependent on natural gas for decades to come. The result is super-expensive energy prices and rising inflation, a painful cost burden that households and businesses now face.
Therefore, think tank Net Zero Watch called on the government to suspend costly plans to achieve carbon neutrality urgently. At the same time, it should consider the security of energy supply and energy costs as key to national security. To do this, for its political survival, the government must implement radical political reforms and start using the vast natural gas resources in the United Kingdom. Gas prices in the UK are now almost ten times higher than in the US, where fracturing is widely used, and shale gas is cheap and plentiful.
However, experts from Net Zero Watch are aware that even if the British moratorium on shale gas were lifted tomorrow, it would take at least 12 months for this gas to start flowing. However, if the Johns government does not send this clear signal to investors, the energy and cost-of-living crisis will become permanent and pose an existential threat to this government and many businesses.
In his dramatic appeal to the London government, Net Zero Watch emphasized that the current energy and supply cost crisis resulted from decades of ill-considered climate policy that favored costly abatement technologies and neglected national security, security of supply, and social, economic impacts. The gravity of the current crisis deserves extraordinary measures to protect consumers and the economy and prevent the crisis from turning into an economic and social catastrophe.
In recent months, the Conservative Party has sharply criticized Prime Minister Boris Johnson for its left-wing green policies. Under party pressure, the prime minister had to back down from his plan to force hundreds of thousands of households to switch from natural gas heating to heat pumps. Because in addition to gas shortages, Britain also suffers from an electricity deficit, of which it is a net importer of submarine cables, mainly from France. However, a few days ago, it shut down 11 of its 58 reactors, 7 of them postponed due to the need for maintenance due to the covid quarantine of experts, four reactors have technical problems. Thus, France does not have enough electricity for itself and has to replenish it expensively with the help of gas. Moreover, as with another French importer from the German core, there is great concern about a possible cold winter in Britain.
Britain is eagerly awaiting the launch of two new units at the 2x 1,600 MW Hinkley Point nuclear power plant. However, the power plant, which is being built by the French state concern EdF, is several years behind schedule. The government in London, which has so far supported the construction of offshore wind farms, wants to have a VtE of 40 GW available by 2030. However, it is also considering building another identical Powerwell C nuclear power plant. According to an interview with Boris Johnson for the BBC, the British government “has refused to make difficult decisions in the field of nuclear energy for too long.” Britain has 19 reactors in operation with a 15% share of nuclear energy in the country’s energy mix.
Think tank Net Zero Watch called on the British government to:
- It has urgently suspended plans to achieve carbon neutrality and put energy and security of supply costs at the heart of national security;
- suspend all environmental charges on energy bills, temporarily fund tax subsidies, but abolish these subsidies altogether in the near future;
- abolish payments for reducing the operation of renewables and force wind and solar producers to bear the compensatory costs themselves, thus motivating them to engage in only economically advantageous activities;
- remove all tax and other barriers to oil and gas exploration, including shale gas, to increase domestic production levels;
- suspend carbon taxation in the production of electricity from coal and gas to relieve consumers and ensure the security of supply;
- reopened recently closed gas storage facilities and supported new storage projects;
Suspended all other policy initiatives to achieve the goal of clean carbon neutrality, including carbon budgets, heat pump targets, and an overly ambitious timetable for banning petrol and diesel engines until the UK energy sector has stabilized. Instead, it has facilitated and accelerated the construction and deployment of small modular reactors.