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Net Zero an urgent threat to national security – Press Release from Net Zero Watch – 01.03.24

Former security minister Sir Gerald Howarth urges the UK to halt Net Zero and focus on defence. 

London, 1 March - A new paper from Net Zero Watch makes a comprehensive case that efforts to decarbonise the steel and electricity fundamentals of the economy now represent a real and present danger to national security. 

In an important intervention, Sir Gerald Howarth, Minister for International Security Strategy under David Cameron, says in the paper’s foreword: “Our adversaries are watching us like hawks, so let us leave them in no doubt: we are rearming and rebuilding, and Net Zero is firmly on hold.” 

Professor Gwythian Prins, a defence expert and one of the paper’s authors, agrees that with the recent deterioration of the world's security situation, luxury beliefs such as Net Zero must be jettisoned as a matter of urgency: “This is the moment when the music stops.

The Port Talbot closure harshly exposes the costs of luxury ‘green’ beliefs. We cannot be dependent on imports for the full range of necessary steels to rebuild our arsenals – the Navy first and foremost – and, most ridiculously, we cannot depend for them on our global antagonists." 

"Furthermore, our armed forces are wholly dependent on oil to keep them in the field, and our electricity grid will collapse without gas. Any attempt to abandon them will leave us entirely at the mercy of hostile powers." 

The paper also includes contributions from Gautam Kalghatgi, a professor of combustion and energy engineering, who ridicules plans to decarbonise the armed forces through use of batteries and biofuels, and the historian Guy de la Bédoyère, who sets out the eternal historical lesson that technological laggards usually end up the victims of conquest by their more advanced neighbours. 

Mr de la Bédoyère said: “It is impossible to diminish the effectiveness of a nation’s armed forces without making it a sitting duck for a more ambitious rival’s greed. But that’s exactly what our leaders seem to want to do.” 

Andrew Montford, director of Net Zero Watch said: “The three contributors make it clear that Net Zero is leaving us at the mercy of hostile powers. A Net Zero army and a Net Zero economy could both be brought to their knees in a matter of days. In these dangerous times, our politicians must re-order their priorities.”


For this press release in pdf, click here:

Net Zero an urgent threat to national security
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Notes for editors. 

The three contributions are:

Professor Gwythian Prins: The Music Stops: steel, electricity and national security

Professor Gautam Kalghatgi: Dangerous Fantasies:‘zero-carbon’ planes, tanks and ships in numbers Guy de la Bédoyère: The Man in the Diesel Tank is King 


Andrew Montford Director, Net Zero Watch:

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