So what should we expect from the sanctions? Western pundits and commentators have little doubt: the sanctions will hamstring the Russian economy, sow discontent among the Russian people and elites alike, and possibly even cause the downfall of the Putin regime. At the very least, we’re told, they will hinder Russia’s war efforts. But history suggests otherwise: see Iraq, or more recently Iran. Far more likely is that this turns out to be the latest Western strategic miscalculation in a long list of strategic blunders, of which the United States’ inglorious withdrawal from Afghanistan is just the most recent example.
After all, Russia has been preparing for this moment for quite some time. Following the first wave of Western sanctions, in 2014, and partly in retaliation against them, Putin embarked on what analysts have dubbed a “Fortress Russia” strategy, building up the country’s international reserves and diversifying them away from US dollars and British pounds, reducing its foreign exposure, boosting its economic cooperation with China, and pursuing import substitution strategies in several industries, including food, medicine and technology, in an effort to insulate Russia as much as possible from external shocks.
Ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 may not be realistic because the electric vehicle charging network isn’t close to being ready, a government advisory report has warned.
Sir John Armitt, head of the National Infrastructure Commission, said there was a “real risk” to the deadline because of the slow progress of installing new electric chargers.
Drivers will not switch away from fossil fuel cars quickly enough if they are not confident of being able to charge electric vehicles, the commission warned in a report published on Wednesday.
The electric vehicle charging network is “significantly behind where it needs to be” and without more chargers drivers “will not have the confidence to make the switch to electric vehicles”, the report warns.
The National Grid is paying households to ration their power usage at peak times amid a scramble to reduce pressure on Britain’s energy infrastructure.
From Friday up to 1.4m households will be paid if they cut their normal electricity consumption at certain two-hour periods during the day, as an experiment to see how households’ behavior might be changed.
The move is a pilot scheme intended to pave the way for a broader overhaul of the country’s billing system as the UK ditches reliable but dirty fossil fuel plants.
UK demand for energy-intensive materials is growing, driving increased emissions in the UK and abroad. UK FIRES is a research programme sponsored by the UK Government, aiming to support a 20% cut in the UK’s true emissions by 2050 by placing Resource E ciency at the heart of the UK’s Future Industrial Strategy.
We have to cut our greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050: that’s what climate scientists tell us, it’s what social protesters are asking for and it’s now the law in the UK. But we aren’t on track. For twenty years we’ve been trying to solve the problem with new or breakthrough technologies that supply energy and allow industry to keep growing, so we don’t have to change our lifestyles. But although some exciting new technology options are being developed, it will take a long time to deploy them, and they won’t be operating at scale within thirty years.