Of all the issues of concern in this world, I would hazard that reaching the government’s 2050 target for “net zero” is so far down the list as to be invisible to most people.
And while decades of warmist propaganda have elevated concerns about the so-called “climate crisis”, for most ordinary people the zeal for taking personal action tends to evaporate once they find they have to put their hands in their pockets, or make significant changes to their lifestyles.
Yet, for all the high-flown ambitions of the corporates and government agencies to secure the mythical beast of “net zero” emissions, if the completion date is going to be reached, the wholehearted cooperation of the bulk of the population will be needed, on top of significant increases in personal expenditure.
Increasingly though, as the clock ticks down to the closest of the deadlines, to the point where we can visualise the rate of progress and make reasonably accurate projections of compliance, the long-held suspicions that the targets are fantasy are beginning to firm up, not least because the popular enthusiasm simply isn’t there.
A good example is the ostensibly encouraging news on car sales for this month. A total of 74,441 new cars were registered, up 26.2 percent on the same period last year, with a forecast for the whole of 2023 of 1.79 million – up 11.1 percent on 2021.
But what will have the “net zero” zealots weeping and gnashing their teeth is that, while registrations of hybrid electric vehicles increased by 40 percent, the market share for pure electric vehicles was 16.5 percent, down from 17.1 percent last month.
Steve Gooding, of the RAC Foundation – supposedly pro-motorist but actually an establishment shill – expresses disappointment, “given the role electric vehicles are set to play in meeting our climate change objectives”.