The truth is out, writes Matt Ridley in the Mail. An official report has admitted for the first time the scale of the cost of reaching Net Zero by 2050 – the same as spending £1 a second for the next 31,000 years.
A study by the National Infrastructure Commission, released on Tuesday, concluded that hitting the 2050 target will roughly double the amount of money we would have spent anyway on infrastructure over the next 27 years to £2 trillion: an additional £1 trillion spent on the green agenda.
For a word that skips off the tongue so easily, a trillion is mighty big. Imagine you were to spend a pound a second: how long would it take you to spend £1 trillion? The answer is more than 31,000 years.
So to have spent a trillion pounds by today at the rate of £1 a second, you would have to have started when woolly mammoths roamed free.
Most of that trillion will go on replacing petrol cars with electric ones and gas boilers with electric heat pumps, and on generating, transmitting and distributing the extra electricity needed for these two uses. It also includes a host of other capital projects, including better household insulation. With all that electric demand, we would need extra power stations, extra pylons and upgrades of household electrical circuits. And we would need subsidies for installing the heat pumps and buying electric vehicles.
Oh, and £74 billion would be spent on closing down the gas grid: the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), which was set up to promote economic growth, has been so captured by the green lobby that it is now a National Dismantling Commission.
With the exception of home insulation, very little of that £1 trillion would actually improve your lifestyle in any practical way. It does not promise to give you cheaper or more reliable electricity. It would not save you any money or give you any more spare time — or make you more productive.
It would generally replace smaller things with bigger things — more pylons, heavier cars, bigger radiators, wind farms instead of gas turbines — so it would actually clutter the world more.