Things are not going well in Germany’s bid to reach Net Zero by 2045, says Ross Clark in the Spectator, “five years earlier even than Britain’s own unrealistic target”. As reality starts to hit, the scramble to back out of green economic self-harm becomes more and more frantic.
For months, the German Government has been trying to devise a way to save its heavy industry from high energy prices which are sending production fleeing to Asia. Just last year, chemicals giant BASF announced that it would invest in a new £10 billion plant in China rather than Europe, thanks to the cost of energy.
Now, the Government seems to have found a way. It is going to raid its £200 billion climate transition fund, which was supposed to invest in green technology. The fund was also meant to compensate householders who have been groaning under the expense of policies such as next year’s proposed ban on new gas boilers.
Instead, some of the money will be going towards subsidising cheaper energy for heavy users (although householders may end up paying more). Needless to say, some of the subsidies will be disappearing into the pockets of the owners of coal-fired power stations – given that some of these have had to be fired up again to cope with the disappearance of Russian gas.
Ross notes that the German car industry “has already succeeded in watering down an EU ban on petrol and diesel cars from 2035”:
Internal combustion engines will still be allowed if they are capable of being run on synthetic ‘e-fuels’ manufactured from hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Given that you can make synthetic fuels to any recipe you like, this effectively means that the car industry will be able to continue making internal combustion engines pretty much as now.