The past week has been a very interesting one, to say the least, as the media has suddenly filled with story after story documenting a rising backlash against net-zero policies in the Western world.
From environmental, social and governance (ESG) to insurance alliances to recent elections in Europe, the tide seems to be turning against the destructive outcomes of policies pushing net-zero and “energy transition” goals. With recent elections in Europe having resulted in the institution of more conservative governments in Sweden, Greece and Italy, and public attitudes in other EU nations trending in that direction, a developing backlash is not at all surprising. (RELATED: DAVID BLACKMON: New White House Report Explores Blocking The Sun. What Could Go Wrong?)
Austria’s National Energy and Climate Plan (NEKP) said Tuesday that its climate targets for 2030 will not be reached in time. The revised plan rolled out this week cuts the country’s greenhouse gas reduction goals from 48% below 2005 levels to a 35% reduction.
The UK Guardian reported Tuesday that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government is developing plans to drop the country’s costly, £11.6 billion climate and nature funding plan due to its overwhelming cost. Government officials estimate that meeting the pledge would consume 83% of the Foreign Office’s official development assistance budget on the global international climate fund.
Earlier in the month, Poland’s climate minister, Anna Moskwa, promised to appeal the EU’s recently-adopted mandate to ban internal combustion engine automobiles by 2035 to the EU’s highest court. “We don’t agree with this and other documents from the Fit for 55 package and we’re bringing this to the European Court of Justice. I hope other countries will join,” Moskwa told Radio Zet on June 10. “We will file the motion in the coming days.”
On Wednesday, the United Nations-administered Net Zero Insurers Alliance (NZIA) announced it has dropped all requirements for members to set or publish greenhouse gas emission-reduction targets. The revision comes as 23 Republican state attorneys general in the United States threatened to file lawsuits over the group’s alleged violations of U.S. anti-trust laws. At least 18 of the 30 members of the alliance had rescinded their memberships in the group due to those allegations.
Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is leading an investigation over similar anti-trust allegations against so-called ESG investment houses which boast about collectively controlling trillions of dollars in investment capital. The Daily Caller reported it had obtained copies of letters the Committee sent to the CEOs of Blackrock, Vanguard, State Street and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), which is co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg.
Jordan’s letters were sent just days after BlackRock CEO Larry Fink told an audience at the Aspen Ideas Festival that he was “ashamed” of his involvement in the debate over ESG, which he claimed had become “politicized.” Whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship here is anyone’s guess.
And of course the ESG issue is “politicized.” The entire pursuit is highly political — almost toxically so — by its very nature. The campaign towards “net zero” and this “energy transition” from fossil fuels to renewables is entirely driven by political decisions and policies.
The trillions of dollars in global subsidies for “green” energy available today could not exist except through political processes. As I’ve documented over the past few years, those subsidies have become the chief driver of investment decisions in the energy sector, for better or for worse.
One inevitable outcome of that collective drive to target trillions of government dollars at a globalist goal via subsidies was an eventual public backlash, as ordinary voting people start to make the direct connections between the policies and the vastly higher cost of living they are now experiencing.
The simple fact is that higher prices for energy raise the cost of all consumer goods that must be transported to market via ships, trains, planes, or trucks. Which means essentially everything.
There is no doubt this backlash is ongoing in Europe and starting to have significant impacts on public policy decisions there. Whether it will now make its way across the pond and impact policy decisions in the U.S. remains to be seen, but Jordan’s announced investigation is a significant first shot across the bow.
David Blackmon is an energy writer and consultant based in Texas. He spent 40 years in the oil and gas business, where he specialized in public policy and communications.
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