'It would be helpful if you were to do some proper research': Caller challenges Andrew Castle on Net-Zero

10 September 2023, 11:01 | Updated: 20 September 2023, 12:23

Andrew Castle questions how 'achieving' Net-Zero will impact our living standards

By Jasmine Moody

Andrew Castle is asked to “reconsider” his views on Net-Zero by this passionate caller

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Last week, ministers revealed that no additional offshore winds will go ahead in the UK after no bids were made in the latest government auction, potentially scuppering the UK’s goal of Net-Zero by 2050.

The goal refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount that can be removed from the atmosphere, achievable by emission reduction and removal.

In light of this revelation, Andrew Castle gave his views on achieving net zero and how it will impact the British taxpayer.

However, he was soon challenged by caller Daniel from Stoke-Newington, who confidently challenged Andrew.

Daniel criticised Andrew and said Andrew’s argument was pitting Net-Zero’s goals of “protecting humankind from climate disruption” against “economics.”

He added: “I’m not sure that is the correct framing and I would ask you to reconsider.”

Andrew agreed and said: “I want some answers to some direct questions.”

Caller Daniel replied: “In that case, the way that you’re framing the Net-Zero argument is an opposing argument.

“The reason that Net-Zero needs to happen is because it will protect people in the long term…”

Jonathon Reynolds MP tells Andrew Castle why it's a 'problem' the government couldn't get more offshore wind

Andrew interjected: “It’s not something you can impose on people and then say ‘you’re not allowed to question and you’re not allowed to demand more information.’

“I’d like to know the answer to one specific.

“We all know that we’re all going to hell and damnation, the world is burning…”

He continued: “I wonder whether we’re all being told the full realities of absorbing the cost of Net-Zero - that’s what I’m trying to.”

Daniel thanked Andrew for his explanation and said: “That’s fair.

“Nonetheless, you’re in a very very influential position and I think it would be helpful if you were to do some proper research on it…”

Andrew replied by explaining his concussion about the topic, rustling his notes around, he said: “I don’t even know where to begin!

“Every single day there’s swathes of information and you try to pick out…”

He questioned Daniel on the lack of bids at the wind auction and whether he knew if the National Gas Grid could carry hydrogen.

Daniel replied with “no” to both questions.

Andrew said: “Well exactly!”

Daniel added:  “But nonetheless, the way that you’re speaking about this particular problem is immediately pitching the whole Net-Zero argument as negative and that’s really dangerous.”

“You need to bring people with you, you’re in a very very influential position.

Andrew retorted: “How about this then? How about bringing people with you when it comes to the reality of heat pumps?

He answered his own question: “The reality of heat pumps is that any subsidy you can get doesn’t even scratch the surface in terms of the actual installation costs, let alone setting some arbitrary targets.

“It’s just an impossibility.”

Daniel then said: “Who is the group that is currently saying that heat pumps are a good idea?”

Andrew replied: “The government.”

Daniel then explained that even though he is not the biggest “fan” of the government, he said that there “are some smart people in there who must realise in order for people to take on new technology, the price has got to drop.

“They’ve got to sell the idea to the public in such a way that the public feels that it won’t be damaging for them.”

Andrew concluded: “Bottom line is that we haven’t got enough money.

“We, as a nation, do not have enough money to do everything.

“Who’s paying for everything that is being promised?

“What is the cost of Net-Zero?"