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Op-Ed: Britain’s Disastrous Path to Net Zero Is a Warning to the U.S.

This article was authored by Andy Puzder for National Review on February 5, 2024

The promise of cheap, renewable, reliable power is a dangerous illusion.

At last year’s U.N. climate conference in Dubai, the Biden administration agreed to triple the world’s renewable-energy capacity by 2030. It also joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance, pledging to eliminate coal-powered generation. This is all part of President Biden’s goal to completely decarbonize the U.S. electrical grid by 2035 and achieve net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.


Britain has been going down this path since 2008, when Parliament wrote an 80 percent decarbonization target into law, which it raised to 100 percent, or net zero, in 2019. This luxury net-zero policy, which only the rich can afford, has been devastating for both businesses and ordinary Britons just trying to heat their homes and get to work.


A new report for the RealClear Foundation by Rupert Darwall is a timely and much-needed warning to America. It shows what would happen if Democrats and progressives get their way and inflict net-zero climate policies on the country.


British politicians boast of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions faster than any other major economy but ignore the unfortunate fact that Britain’s economy has been performing poorly since 2008.


In 2020, even before the recent surge in energy costs, everyday Britons were paying about 75 percent more for electricity than Americans, the result of a double whammy — cap-and-trade policies on the one hand and renewable subsidies on the other. And then came the Ukraine shock. During the 2022 energy crisis, electricity rates for British businesses were more than double the average paid by U.S. businesses.

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