As the mother of all energy crises starts to bite, with fears of energy rationing, fuel poverty and blackouts looming on the horizon, we might just be starting to see a flicker of self-awareness, the tiniest recognition of reality, coming from the UK’s green political class.
After all, for at least the past decade, our energy policy has been driven by a singular, myopic concern – reducing CO2 emissions to mitigate climate change. As a result, successive governments have not only failed to secure cheap and abundant supplies of energy – politicians have also tended to boast about their plans to make our supplies more precarious. Reliable but CO2-emitting fossil fuels were out and ‘carbon-neutral’ but unreliable wind and solar were in. Even nuclear power, which produces carbon-neutral energy, has been neglected and derided by our green elites.
Now a partial reverse-ferret is underway. As we struggle to scrape together adequate supplies of gas for the coming winter, as the price of energy rockets to unaffordable heights, suddenly energy security is at the top of the agenda.
Today Boris Johnson is using his final speech as UK prime minister to assert the primary importance of energy security. He says the nation needs energy in the future to be ‘cheap, clean, reliable and plentiful’. And he denounces the ‘myopia’ and the ‘short-termism’ that has led the UK to not complete a single new nuclear reactor in 27 years. Johnson’s parting pledge is to build eight new nuclear reactors, at a pace of one per year. Read more…