Diesel cars tend to be more fuel-efficient with lower emissions, and Mr Brown hailed them as the greener and cheaper option. Over a decade and a half, the number of such vehicles on British roads quadrupled.
What didn’t emerge until much later — although it was no secret in the motor industry or among government officials — was that diesel cars also emitted greater quantities of other pollutants, nitrogen oxides and particulates that damage air quality and human health.
…What [the Government] fails to tell us, however, is that electric cars are not the answer for many people, for a host of practical reasons. These include their upfront cost, limited range, the time it takes to charge batteries, the new infrastructure needed for charging points and the extra power required to supply them.
Even more alarmingly, a report in the journal Nature suggests that because electric cars are heavier than other vehicles, they will likely kill more occupants of other vehicles in traffic accidents.
As for climate change, electric cars will do little to arrest it. So for now, at least, they are one of the least effective and most expensive ways to cut carbon — and economically they are a bad bet.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) published a special report last week, setting out its proposals for achieving ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions. One of its headline demands is that gas-fired domestic boilers should no longer be sold after 2025. This echoes one of the main policies in the UK government’s Net Zero plan. This is no coincidence. National governments, including the UK, draw all of their climate policies from faceless global agencies like the IEA (as well as domestic quangos like the Climate Change Committee). This process leaves out one important constituency: the public.