Parliament has declared a climate emergency and, just before she left office, Theresa May signed the net-zero carbon emission by 2050 law into force – and now comes the fall-out from the policy makers.

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According to UK law, this country must be a net-zero carbon emitter by the year 2050, just thirty years away.

This law means that whatever we do in this country after 2050 must not increase the amount of carbon in the atmosphere by one drop more.

And in a high energy consumption society such as ours, that will take some doing.

It will actually mean a massive decrease in demand for energy for everything from keeping warm in winter to keeping cool in summer and crucially the transportation of goods and people – something that any advanced civilisation needs.

In response to this, the Commons Select Committee of MPs on Science and Technology has just issued a report and, as far as I can see, this report dooms our whole way of life – that will of course be welcome news to the ardent eco-warriors, but may not be as welcomed by the rest of us.

And one of their targets is of course the reduction of emissions from vehicles.

With the eye-opener being the statement:

"Although ultra-low emissions vehicles generate very little emissions during use, their manufacture generates substantial emissions. In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership therefore does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation. The Government should not aim to achieve emissions reductions simply by replacing existing vehicles with lower-emissions versions."

That of course means that the proles will no longer have access to personal transportation ,unless it is restricted to the sort propelled by pedal power or shoe leather.

The car has transformed how we all live our lives and gives just about all of us unprecedented access to the wider world.

Whether it be commuting, that quick trip to the shops, a camping holiday or a simple drop of the hat visit into the country or to the seaside, personal travel is at our fingertips and enriches our existence.

But it seems that those in power have decided that this will have to stop.

But what will replace it? Bicycles for all?

And remember that making everyone use public transport for other longer journeys will be highly restricting – because to meet their emission targets, they won't run them to remote locations for a few people (think Dr Beeching) and they will also have to maximise the number of people on each transport whether it be train or bus – ie cram them in.

But the rich and powerful will probably have a separate system – like they always do.

And what happens when the government can no longer tax your car ownership or for the fuel you use? Do you think you'll have more money to spend – no you won't because they'll have to find something else to tax to replace that lost revenue.

Then there's the question of measuring the carbon in the atmosphere. How can we prove that our little bit is helping, when carbon is emitted from so many other sources around the globe and carried by the wind into the UK?

Because the likes of China will continue on their current energy policy course, so we will see no discernible difference. Except that we will be severely restricted in travel and be no better off, with the global carbon levels remaining unchanged.

And restricting travel won't stop at cars, those flights will also have to be hit. Dreams of travelling the world? Forget it, you might qualify for one flight a year – if you're lucky.

Oh, and with this news, if you were a car manufacturer would you be investing in new designs right now, even the electric type, if the masses won't be able to buy them or afford to run them anyway?

Let them build bicycles, buses and trains the eco-warriors will howl.

And what will happen to manufacturing in the UK? Will we end up with fewer items being made at much higher prices? And all goods imported from carbon emitting countries would probably have to have a carbon import tax attached to them too.

What a future!

Sources:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/science-and-technology-committee/news-parliament-2017/clean-growth-report-published-17-19/

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