UK pushes back gas boiler ban five years: press
The UK government is planning to delay its ban on domestic gas boilers by five years, UK press reported July 27. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has so far not commented but the decision, if true, will mean houses may install them as replacements until as late as 2040.
The postponed deadline follows the delay of the related heating strategy, supposed to have been published before the parliamentary summer break. Energy economist Dieter Helm told a House of Lords committee earlier in July that politicians were not being straight with the electorate about the costs of the energy transition.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak has reportedly baulked at the £1.4 trillion ($1.94 trillion) cost estimate of the net zero plan as he is already looking for ways to pay back the £400bn cost of the COVID-19 crisis and the £10bn/yr required to reform long-term care for the elderly.
Global Warming Policy Foundation spokesman Benny Peiser said he was also calling on Boris Johnson to extend the delay to the planned 2025 ban on gas boilers in new-build properties. "This plan threatens to add many thousands of pounds to a new-built property and would make buying a new home unaffordable for most young Britons and ordinary families," he said, adding: "It is almost certain that it won't be the last costly Net Zero plan that will have to be delayed, watered down or scrapped as public concern and anger grows."
There has been much comment in the press about the cost and relative efficacy of alternative forms of domestic heating, such as heat pumps, although some companies are planning to make gas boilers that are hydrogen-ready.
The news follows an independent report commissioned by Scottish utility SSE – one of the "major partners" for the COP 26 talks in Glasgow late this year – that wind-farms will continue to need subsidies, although the wind industry has claimed cost-parity with despatchable energy.
On top of these mounting woes, according to the UK broadcaster BBC in an article published July 26, there is still the unresolved matter of $100bn/yr that has been promised by wealthy countries to help poorer countries to achieve their 2050 targets. "For many countries, this is the biggest issue to resolve in the run-up to COP26 – and the very poorest are demanding action," said the BBC.
Believing attack to be the best form of defence, coal-burning India has said the wealthier countries should all cut their emissions. During the G20 ministerial meeting in Naples July 22-23, Times of India reported July 25 that environment minister Bhupender Yadav said that the pledges made to achieve carbon neutrality by or around mid-century "may not be adequate in view of fast depleting available 'carbon space'. Therefore, and keeping in view the legitimate need of developing countries to grow, we urge G20 countries to commit to bringing down per capita emissions to global average by 2030."
India's per-capita emissions are below the average at 2 metric tons CO2 equivalent as of 2016, thanks to its huge population. This was a fraction of those of OECD countries when calculated on that basis.