Only authoritarian rule can deliver Net Zero, Lord Deben admits
London, 30 March: The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) has condemned the chairman of the UK’s Climate Change Committee for demanding that a powerful group of unelected officials should enforce Net Zero policies, giving them the power to overrule Parliament.
At a green investment event last week, Lord Deben praised the government’s climate policy objectives but referred to the delivery process as “crap” and demanded the creation of a new “powerful body” to force the private sector to act on policy. (Utility Week, 29 March 2021.)
Lord Deben said:
I want to see a delivery system either within or outside the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). We need somebody doing the delivery direction […] You need to have a very clear and powerful body saying what has to happen, these are the priorities and get on with it. Unless we have that this whole thing will be policy strong, policy powerful and policy rich but delivery poor.”
Lord Deben’s remarks are a clear admission that in spite of a vast web of subsidies and regulations forcing businesses and even the military towards low carbon technologies, these technologies and policies are so lacking in real attraction that progress towards Net Zero is faltering.
A BBC survey published on Monday revealed that the vast majority of people in Scotland are not adopting low-carbon technologies and options because they “are financially out of reach for most Scots.”
Lord Deben’s answer to the public reluctance to embrace costly behaviour changes and green technologies is authoritarian and undemocratic: “You need to have a very clear and powerful body saying what has to happen”. Critics might reply that the United Kingdom already has such a body in the democratically accountable Parliament, and that Lord Deben’s demands are an attempt to circumvent that accountability.
GWPF director Benny Peiser, said:
Lord Deben’s suggestion that Parliament should be bypassed by an all-powerful Committee of Climate Safety is repulsively anti-democratic and also an admission of policy failure.”
Deben’s authoritarian proposal confirms the recent warning by Deutsche Bank that Net Zero policies threaten to result in a “noticeable loss of welfare and jobs” and are unlikely to succeed without “a certain degree of eco-dictatorship.”