EU leaders brace for clash over astronomical cost of Net Zero plans

  • Date: 23/05/21
  • GWPF & FT

As the astronomical costs of Net Zero plans are becoming evident by the day, EU leaders face the prospect of growing discontent and revolt over the relentless rise in energy prices and consumer pain.

After years of assuring voters that renewable energy will make energy cheaper and Europeans better off, EU leaders are now forced to concede that these plans will actually hurt consumers very badly.

The EU Commission is proposing a series of far-reaching measures that will drive up the cost of running a car and heating homes. If it goes ahead, households will have to shoulder not only rising energy costs, but also the rising cost of Europe’s record carbon price in their heating bills and fuel pump prices.

It doesn’t take much to consider the political upheaval and public revolt once the pain of Net Zero is felt by voters.

EU leaders brace for clash on how to implement climate goals

European leaders are on a collision course over the looming impact of radical emission targets on their citizens and businesses as the cost of going green hits home across the EU. 

A summit in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday is set to be dominated in part by discussions on how to decarbonise swaths of the European economy so that the bloc can meet its goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 55 per cent by the end of the decade. 

In particular, the summit may blow into the open the distributional questions at the heart of the green agenda as it will impact voters’ disposable incomes by driving up household energy bills, pump prices and food costs. 

Officials expect a divisive debate that pits richer countries in western Europe against their poorer and more polluting counterparts in the south and east. In a sign of how contentious the debate may prove, ambassadors clashed on Friday over the meeting’s draft environment conclusions.

One EU official said the summit would see leaders “reaffirm their sensitivities, their priorities” on the climate debate, warning that many of the trade-offs would be “very tricky to solve”….

Brussels will propose a series of far-reaching measures, including the potential expansion of the ETS to retail sectors such as cars and heating. If it goes ahead, households will have to shoulder part of the cost of Europe’s record carbon price in their heating bills and fuel pump prices.

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