The UK government has published a policy document which sets out key statements and targets, aimed at bringing about a `net-zero emissions result’ from virtually all human activity, plus energy generation, distribution and supply. Whether this lofty ambition is compatible with the continued existence of human beings is debatable, but we are about to find out.
The biggest impact for the insurance industry is the attack on private ownership of cars, full stop. First petrol and diesel cars will be banned by 2030, then measures to restrict the sales of SUVs will apply – does this mean SUVs will be rationed to those with children of school age only? If people don’t own cars how will insurers sell theft, vandalism or liability insurance, surely just the ridesharing fleets will be the only customers left?
The climate change agenda means ALL our lives will be severely restricted in terms of personal mobility, unless some magical unicorns choose to build an on-demand, sustainable public transport system, which takes all of us to exactly where we wish to go, whenever we want to travel. Oh well, there’s always Tesla Drone Uber Eats…
Here’s the press release;
The transition to net-zero will affect the whole economy. Investment and policy decisions by all government departments need to be compatible with this transition.
- Policies to support renewable electricity generation should be more ambitious, building on deployment and cost reduction successes. Action is also needed to ensure electricity market rules are fit for a fully decarbonised power sector.
- Decisions by the energy regulator, Ofgem, should also be compatible with net-zero. This includes enabling investment in local electricity networks to facilitate heat and transport decarbonisation, and ensuring more active use of existing networks.
- Local energy systems could play a significant role in achieving net-zero, particularly in the integration of electricity, heat and transport. More resources and greater powers for Local Authorities will help to ensure the potential for local action is realised.
- A clear plan is required for upgrading the UK housing stock. A heat and energy efficiency White Paper must include policies for widespread deployment of low carbon heat (including demonstrating hydrogen at scale) and for prioritising low income households.
- Whilst the decarbonisation of industry is receiving more attention, policy initiatives are not joined up. Funding for specific projects and industrial clusters should be complemented by market creation policies, including for carbon capture and storage.
- Our analysis shows that achieving net-zero requires the phase out of fossil-fuelled vehicles to be brought forward to 2030. Immediate action is also required to counter the rapid increase in sales of larger cars (including SUVs).
- Plans to meet net-zero should maximise environmental co-benefits. Potential negative impacts on ecosystems should be assessed and mitigated.
- Continuing uncertainty about the UK’s changing relationship with the European Union has already affected decarbonisation plans. Whatever the outcome, close co-operation with the EU is likely to make it easier to achieve net-zero.
- The transition to net-zero should not compromise energy security. In light of the events on August 9th, responsibilities for ensuring system resilience need to be clarified and applied in a more rigorous way.
Responding to the UK Energy Research Centre’s report Review of Energy Policy out today, RAC spokesman Simon Williams:
“It’s important to remember that the SUV trend has been developing for around two decades, arguably really taking off in the mid-2000s, whereas the EV market is only just beginning to accelerate as battery technology improves along with the availability of public chargepoints. As a result there are some very strong EV sports utility vehicles on sale now including the Kia e-Niro, Hyundai Kona, Mercedes EQC and the Jaguar I-Pace. The desire among drivers to purchase SUVs is likely to continue for personal preference and lifestyle reasons so we imagine the EV market will simply mirror that.
“The only thing holding drivers back from choosing an electric as their next vehicle is the high purchase price, the number of miles they can do on a single charge, charging infrastructure and the choice of vehicles on the market.”
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