The body of scientific research is unambiguous in its conclusion: We are not just losing but definitively failing in our fight against global warming. It is no longer a distant future threat!
The critical 1.5% global temperature increase, universally acknowledged as a dangerous threshold, is not just a looming eventuality—it is now alarmingly predicted to occur within the next five years.
Transitioning to decarbonised electricity production and promoting the adoption of clean electric vehicles (EVs) is vital to the UK's comprehensive strategy to combat climate change. The government has set an ambitious goal: By the year 2030, all new car sales in the country must be of electric vehicles.
However, yet again, Brexit looks to stand in the way of progress.
Europe, like the USA, has chosen to prioritise regional interests and employment over a full-scale deployment of clean electric vehicles (EVs). By establishing specific quotas (45% in 2023 rising to 65% in 2027) that dictate the percentage of EV parts that must be manufactured within the UK or Europe, they are essentially creating obstacles for the free trade of EVs, as if these tariffs are not met an EU import tariff of 10% applies.
Applying this tariff on UK-manufactured EVs would make them much less competitive in the EU marketplace. This, in turn, hampers their promotion and sale, thereby restricting consumer choice in the sustainable transportation sector and directly impacting the car production industry in the UK.
It's a logical conclusion that if the UK produces fewer electric vehicles, the resultant impact will be an increase in EV prices within the UK and a narrower range of choices available to consumers. This can only slow our efforts to drive an EV revolution and will likely mean we miss our 2030 targets.
The UK Government must urgently liaise with the EU to alleviate this issue and unequivocally assure major automakers like Stellantis (Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat) that their UK operations remain not just viable but primed for additional investment.
Vague comments from the Prime Minster that "I voted for Brexit, I believe in Brexit”, combined with mutterings about the benefits of reforms of EU laws, simply don’t cut it.
If the Prime Minister want to be re-elected, he needs to make a decisive stance on decarbonising our electricity and averting looming tariff conflicts with Europe. This will ensure a robust UK EV manufacturing sector and make possible our ambitious 2030 goals to reduce road emissions and curb atmospheric CO2 contributions — a crucial step in mitigating global warming, the most pressing existential threat to our planet.
Action is required now.
By achieving this, the UK has the potential to emerge as a 'Green Super Power,' essentially creating a new 'North Sea Oil' of clean, renewable energy - capitalizing on wind, solar, and, crucially, nuclear power, underpinned by the UK's technological leadership in nuclear waste management.
This would positions the UK not only to export EVs to Europe but also to supply the requisite green energy to power them.