Prices have leapt 43pc since 2018 as manufacturers junk internal combustion engines in favour of battery power, according to research by Auto Trader.
Higher energy prices, a shortage of parts and consumers’ preference for bigger, safer cars with more technology in them have also driven up prices.
The average new car cost £39,308 in January this year, Auto Trader said, up from £27,305 half a decade earlier.
Manufacturers typically charge around £10,000 more for an electric version of any given model than a petrol one. However, electric vehicles are cheaper to run if charged at home, meaning they offer an overall saving as long as a driver does enough miles.
For example, a Volkswagen Golf starts at around £25,000, compared to £36,400 for a similarly-sized all-electric VW ID.3.
Prices for Nissan’s battery-powered Leaf start at £29,000, while its combustion engine model Juke starts at £20,700.
New vehicle prices are also rising because demand is outstripping supply. New car stock is about 60pc below the levels of early 2021, just below the lockdowns which slashed production around the world.
6) A first win? UK could U-turn on 2035 gas boiler ban as heat pumps cost ‘many times more’
Daily Express, 1 March 2023
The lack of cheap alternatives to heat homes could result in the Government scrapping its plan to ban gas boilers.
The Government has hinted that it could U-turn on its proposed ban on the sale of new gas boilers by 2035, as energy experts have warned that heat pump costs will not become cheaper. Over the past year, heat pumps have been hailed as a solution for the energy crisis, because run on electricity instead of natural gas, and are far more efficient than traditional boilers. However, the technology has remained prohibitively expensive for millions of households, with average costs of installation being quoted between £10,000 and up to £13,000 according to some estimates.
During a debate in the House of Lord earlier today, Steven Croft, the Lord Bishop of Oxford, hailed the government’s strong policy on banning petrol and diesel cars, and asked whether the Government would consider moving forward the currently proposed ban on new gas boiler sales from 2035 to 2030.
He said: “I know that in 2020, the Government brought forward – in a very welcome way – the date for phasing out new petrol and diesel cars from 2035 to 2030, which has had a very significant positive effect on that market.
“I wonder, has any further consideration been given to bringing forward to 2030- the present date of 2035- of prohibiting the installation of new gas boilers, to further encourage the rapid development of low carbon domestic heating?”
In response, Conservative peer Lord Callanan corrected the Bishop, clarifying that the Government has not yet banned gas boiler sales, even in 2035.
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero said: “We have not set a date of 2035 for prohibiting the installation of new gas boilers.
“We have said that it is our aim, but of course, it will crucially depend on the availability of cheap alternatives for people to heat their homes with.”
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mike Foster from the Energy and Utilities Alliance, noted that according to the Government’s 2021 Heat and Buildings Strategy, gas boilers would be banned in 2035 unless their alternatives remain at unaffordable prices.
He said: “It is clear that the cost of installing heat pumps is many times higher than that of installing a gas boiler or replacing a gas boiler.
7) Ajay Srivastava: ‘Climate’ is the EU’s big trade weapon against the developing world
The Hindu, 5 March 2023
Developing countries will suffer the most as they carry out the most carbon-intensive manufacturing.
Starting October 1 this year, the exports of cement, Iron, steel, aluminium, fertilizer, and hydrogen to the European Union (EU) will face extra scrutiny. After 27 months, from January 1, 2026, the EU will start collecting a carbon tax on each consignment of these products.
Welcome to the EU’s new regulation ‘Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)’. CBAM will gradually cover new products. By 2034, CBAM will levied on all the goods exported to the EU.
The quantum of tariff is worrying. CBAM may translate into average taxes ranging from 20-35 per cent on iron, steel, and aluminium products. This is far above the average 2.2 per cent bound tariffs agreed by the EU at the WTO for manufacturers. High CBAM tariffs will render WTO and FTA commitments meaningless.
Let us understand why the EU implements CBAM and how India should prepare for it.
EU’s eco goals
The EU seeks to achieve 55 per cent lower carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. It wants to be carbon-neutral by 2050. Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is the EU’s instrument for achieving these goals. It monitors emissions from over 10,000 power stations, oil refineries, iron, steel, aluminium, cement, paper, glass factories, and civil aviation.
The ETS system operates through European Emission Allowance (EUA). Call it a license or permit that allows one tonne of CO2 emission. The EU-ETS sets a cap on the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions (mainly carbon dioxide) each installation can release. Each participating firm gets a limited number of annual EUAs.
If their emissions exceed the EUA allowance, they must buy EUAs through auction at ETS. Firms that have reduced their emissions have surplus EUAs. The EU-ETS system reduces cap gradually to reduce emissions.
The firms are expected to achieve lower emissions by investing in better technologies, fossil fuel alternatives, and energy efficiency.
Thus the EU-ETS is a cap-and-trade system that uses market forces to reduce emissions. The system allows the market to determine a carbon price, and that price drives investment decisions.
While the EU ETS covers many industrial sectors for emission reduction, it allows the most polluting sectors, like steel or aluminium, a free run by giving them free emissions allowances or EUAs to cover all their emissions.
Any emission reduction target on such firms will result in EU firms relocating to cheaper destinations like China or India. The phenomenon of shifting polluting sector firms from high-cost countries to low-cost countries is termed carbon leakage.
Rising EU carbon prices (from €30 per tonne of CO2 in December 2020 to €100 in Feb 2023) make carbon leakage likely.
The EU was in a dilemma. Its most polluting industries must reduce emissions to reach its climate goals. But, if the EU permits free allowances and applied the emission reduction norms, most production may shift to low-cost countries.
One way to reduce carbon leakage was to apply CBAM only on imports from EU firms that have shifted production to low-cost countries. But the EU chose to tax all imports through CBAM at EU’s prevailing carbon prices.
It decided to gradually phase out the free allowances from most polluting sectors and simultaneously introduce CBAM to prevent the relocation of industries or carbon leakage in these sectors.
High CBAM tariffs on all products by 2034 will disrupt global trade. Soon the UK, the US, Canada, and many others may take similar measures.
Developing countries will suffer the most as they carry out the most carbon-intensive manufacturing. The developed country-led global value chains ensured that cleaner production takes place in developed countries while the polluting part of production takes place in developing countries.
CBAM will have a negligible impact on climate. The carbon content of the environment will come down as consumption comes down. CBAM has no plans to reduce consumption. EU has estimated that by 2030, global emissions in the CBAM sectors will decrease by 0.4 per cent.
CBAM violates the Paris Agreement’s core principles, vitiating the climate talks. Developed countries have generated 79 per cent of historical carbon emissions. That’s why it has been agreed they will bear more burden in climate mitigation. CBAM goes against the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) accepted in the Paris Agreement.
It imposes the environmental standards of developed countries on developing countries. Also, instead of helping, the EU will now collect revenue from developing countries through the CBAM mechanism. EU will use this money as a budgetary resource and not for helping developing countries with climate adoption.
Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, in April 2021, in a Joint Statement called CBAM discriminatory, against the principles of Equity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities.
8) After the experts’ Covid fiasco it’s time to take a very hard look at another “settled science” pseudo-consensus: climate doom-saying
Editorial, New York Post, 4 March 2023
Green fanatics, the numbers show, are just as much in the dark about the climate situation as Anthony Fauci et al were about COVID.
With the demolition of the “expert” views on COVID — mask mandates are useless; vaccines fail to stop transmission; the virus most likely came from that Wuhan lab — it’s time to take a very hard look at another major “settled science” pseudo-consensus: climate doom-saying.
Climate change is real, with human activity contributing to it. But the exact mechanics aren’t remotely as well understood as received wisdom has it — and the terror-campaign hysteria about how to address it, from Greta Thunberg and Al Gore all the way to Joe Biden, Kathy Hochul and most of the media, is utterly anti-science.
Carbon fuels and the technologies that depend up them are essential to modern society: Pretending that governments can simply mandate them away, ordering replacements into existence, is out-and-out magical thinking — and policy based on unicorns and magic crystals can only bring disaster and suffering.
Yes, the hysterics also point to disasters and suffering. But that involves even more disconnects from reality (long documented by brave skeptics like Bjorn Lomborg and others). Here just a few:
At the 2021 Glasgow UN climate summit, John Kerry said we had only nine years left to stop global warming. That followed Prince (now King) Charles’ 2019 claim that we had only 18 months. Which conflicted with AOC’s claim that same year that we had only 12 years left. Which cut against the 2004 claim from British greens that climate change would destroy all human civilization by 2020. That timeline undermined the 1989 UN prediction that we had only three years left to win the climate fight — a major fail, after the same body said in 1972 that only a decade remained before time ran out.
Consider, too, the climate refugees, i.e., people supposedly sure to be driven from their homes by climate change. The Institute for Economics and Peace predicts as many as 1.2 billion climate refugees by 2050; but the big brains have as bad a record here as they do on the date of doomsday. The United Nations not so long ago foresaw 50 million such refugees by 2010, a massive migration flow that utterly failed to materialize.
On individual extreme weather events, the record of “experts” is just as miserable. Despite endless predictions of raging wildfires and city-drowning floods, the overall death toll from such events is down drastically, from about 500,000 worldwide in the 1920s to about 18,000 from 2012 to 2022.
Don’t forget the helpless critters greens love to hype up. Remember the vanishing polar bear, a keystone of Al Gore’s moral-panic masterpiece “An Inconvenient Truth”? Turns out their numbers are up from 2.5 to five times since the ’60s. The allegedly dying coral of the Great Barrier Reef now holds more coral than at any time since record-keeping began.
Green fanatics, the numbers show, are just as much in the dark about the climate situation as Anthony Fauci et al were about COVID. Their “solutions” — ban gas stoves! mandate Teslas! eat mealworms! — are equally nonsensical, catering to the imaginations and emotions of rich progressives rather than aiming rationally to mitigate the (very real) risks climate change actually presents.
It’s time we stopped listening to them, for good.
9) Matthew Lynn: If Joe Biden can open massive new oil fields, then so can Britain
The Daily Telegraph, 5 March 2023
We need to get over the bone-headed opposition to oil and gas production
It would be the biggest new oil field in decades. It could supply as much as 2pc of all the oil needed by the United States. And it would be large enough by itself to make a significant difference to the global price, dealing yet another blow to Vladimir Putin’s collapsing war machine in Ukraine.
Over the next couple of weeks, President Joe Biden is expected to approve the Willow Project, a vast new fossil fuel development in Alaska. Despite the fierce opposition of environmental protesters, Biden has decided that the US, and indeed the world, still needs oil.
If the Left-leaning, climate-friendly Biden can approve new energy projects, why can’t we do the same in the UK? No one could possibly accuse Biden of being a climate change denying reactionary. And yet in the US, unlike most of Europe, the debate about energy still has some vague connection to reality.
It recognises that it will take a while and cost a lot to switch to renewables. In the meantime you will need oil and gas – and you might as well produce it yourself rather than buy it from Saudi Arabia.
With plenty of reserves available in this country, perhaps it is time the UK learnt a lesson from Biden – and started to open up some new oil and gas fields of our own.
President Biden is not ignoring climate change or in hock to the oil industry. He is spending so much money on putting the US at the forefront of the shift to green energy that every other country in the world is complaining about the support he is offering.
From subsidies for electric vehicles, to investment in wind and solar power to building the infrastructure for carbon neutral heating, industrial and transport systems he is spending hundreds of billions of dollars to hit net zero as quickly as any other country. On any measure you care to look at, the Biden White House takes this stuff seriously.
And yet, despite that, he is about to approve the biggest new oil field in years. Led by the energy giant ConocoPhillips, the Willow Project in Alaska has the capacity to generate 180,000 barrels of oil a day, or 1.5pc of the US’s total energy needs.
It will add an extra third to Alaska’s annual production. Unsurprisingly, there has been an outcry from environmental activists, with opposition petitions attracting more than a million signatures, and accusations that Biden is breaking his election pledge not to allow new oil drilling on federal land (which, in fairness, has more than an element of truth to it).
Even so, the president is poised to ignore all that and approve the project. Drilling could start before the end of the year.
So if the United States, which is largely energy independent, can decide to go ahead with developing new fossil fuels, then why can’t we do the same in the UK?
It is about being realistic. Renewable energy capacity takes a long time, and it will be years before we can switch heating systems and cars to electricity.
In the meantime, we will still need oil and gas, and we might as well produce it ourselves, creating wealth, jobs and tax revenues in the process, instead of buying it from Russia or Saudi Arabia instead. In Washington, that is just obvious. In London, unfortunately, it still isn’t.
The UK ought to get over its bone-headed opposition to new energy production. In the North Sea, producers have been harassed and taxed out of existence.
Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish government did everything in its power to stop new licences being approved, even though it is one of the country’s most important industries. Windfall taxes have been slapped on the sector, with the Labour Party calling for those to be even higher.
When energy giants such as Shell or BP announce bumper profits – hardly a surprise when energy prices are so high – they are vilified, and face calls for even stiffer levies. In response, projects have been put on hold, and investment stalled.
Shell said last year it was ‘reviewing’ (corporate speak for scrapping) the money spent in the North Sea, and so has Norway’s Equinor. We can hardly complain if output is falling.
The record on fracking has been even worse. Even though it enabled the US to be independent in energy, and although Texas has hardly been convulsed by earthquakes, in this country it has been effectively banned despite the fact we have vast reserves of shale oil and gas in the North.
Liz Truss’s doomed pro-growth government briefly tried to revive it, but was shot down in a hail of opposition. The result? The UK has a huge deficit in energy, importing £2 billion more a month in oil alone than we export. But, heck, who cares. Apparently it is better to just buy energy from Qatar, or indeed from Biden’s America, than produce the stuff ourselves.
That is ridiculous. It doesn’t make any difference to the environment whether the oil is extracted in this country or somewhere else.
Nor does running down oil capacity do anything to speed up green technology. It just puts us at risk of shortages when supply is tight. Biden at least has the guts to realise we will still need oil for a while longer, and it might as well be American oil instead of anyone else’s.
It might be too much to hope for from anyone in charge of British energy policy – but it is time we took a lesson from Washington and approved some new energy projects in this country as well.