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Clinging to fossil fuels is like sticking to horse-power

A solar thermal power plant in Dunhuang, Gansu, China. Getty

Many British politicians are “stuck in an outdated mental universe” on green energy, says Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Daily Telegraph. Tony Blair recently warned of the “huge burden” of moving to Net Zero. Rishi Sunak’s government has imposed “a discriminatory and retroactive surtax” on renewable companies – one of our greatest recent success stories – and “surreptitiously halved” the UK’s carbon tax. It’s madness: clean tech “will entirely change the global economic system, not at some distant date but this decade”. Attempting to cling to fossil fuels is like “sticking to horse-power as others embrace the steam engine”.

The tired argument is that green energy is “a pious luxury for rich Western states while the rest of humanity belches out carbon”. But greenhouse emissions in much of the world have already peaked ­– it happened a decade ago in Latin America, for example. China, which is embarking on a vast expansion of wind and solar across the “empty deserts of Inner Mongolia”, will go into a “steep descent” of emissions from 2025 – and its dominance in battery production means it’s “running away with the great prize of the 21st century”. Largely thanks to dirt-cheap solar energy, a “rapid switch to clean tech” could cut average energy and fuel bills in advanced economies by almost 20% in the next seven years. “This is an unstoppable global juggernaut. It does not require lavish state spending.” Britain must hold its nerve and plough on with “green energy rearmament”.