Careful Crime, Heat Pumps, Net Zero and German Cars

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Back in 2018, a survey of 2,143 people by YouGov revealed that 27%  of them admit to “careful littering” such as leaving drinks cans or coffee cups on window ledges rather than on the ground as usual.  A campaign was duly launched by Keep Britain Untidy to remind the public that this is still littering.  A series of posters and floor displays were developed to tackle the moment when people might carefully place litter on the ground or a surface before walking away and leaving it.  Afterwards, of the 1,072 people subsequently surveyed in the trial areas, nearly two-thirds (63%) said the campaign would stop them leaving litter behind again.  It didn’t of course.

Have you installed a new heat pump in the last year or so.  Probably not as the UK is bottom of a long list of implementers with only 2% of heating installations being heat pumps whereas it was 98% in Norway and even France was 32% (2021 data).   Our 2021 target was 600,000 but we built 55,000.  Why are we so useless at this sort of thing.  Maybe putting the reliably useless Ed Milliband in charge would be better.  That is a sentence I never thought I’d write.

According to the ‘net zero tracker’ published by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, 17 countries have agreed legislation for net zero commitments. A further 45 have achieving net zero written into policy, 14 have made declarations or pledges towards a net zero target and 43 have talked about such a target.  The detail is here. The UK is on this list of 119 countries, of course, but China and the US, which account for 45% of global emissions between them, are not.

If the UK and, say, Germany are anything to go by, there is little to indicate that these goals will be reached even in these outwardly-committed nations.  Indeed, the German car industry has just persuaded the German state to wreck the EU Commission's plans to ban the manufacture of all cars with internal combustion engines. The EU still plans to stop the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2035 but will now permit so called e-fuel vehicles to be manufactured, sold and driven.  So, Petrol Heads 10 – 0 EU. According to research conducted in March, only 25% of Germans supported the EU’s plan to ban combustion engines in cars with 67% actively opposing it.  Another example of a progressive government being too far ahead of public opinion.

If the EU can't manage it, what price the world?  The UK government still says it will ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030 as part of plans to help the UK meet its goal of net zero by 2050.  But will the EU retreat force a change of mind?

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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