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Furious caller clashes with climate scientists over 'pointless' net zero targets
18 July 2022, 17:35 | Updated: 18 July 2022, 17:49
Caller clashes with climate change experts over 'pointless' net zero
This furious caller told climate change experts there is "no point" in the UK attempting to reach net zero emissions by 2050 - and this is their response.
The conversation on climate change came after a poll found that only 4% of Tory members consider achieving net zero emissions by 2050 a priority for their new party leader.
Caller Steve from Sutton backed this stance, claiming "it makes no difference" if UK attempts to hit net zero targets when countries such as India and China and "other big polluters carry on ploughing the course that they're on."
"All we're going to do is make the general population poorer and more miserable," he told LBC's Eddie Mair, "we are such a small emitter globally that any changes we make...it's not going to make any odds globally."
Chief political strategist for the UN climate convention Tom Rivett-Carnac responded: "If every country in the world applied the logic that Steve was just putting forward, then we're going to cook the climate, lose nature, have enormous human suffering in the short term.
"If instead we can...come together and try to do a big thing collectively, then we can get on top of this."
Eddie Mair on Tory member priorities
Mr Rivett-Carnac pointed out that 43% of Chinese power comes from renewables: "They are doing an enormous amount and they're really trying to transform their economy.
"The reason that the emissions of many of these countries are so high is because we have outsourced the manufacturing of all of the stuff we use to those countries...it's made in those countries and counts as part of their emissions.
"We do have a responsibility, it is meaningful both in the absolute terms and in our leadership to get on top of this and shows the way."
Caller Steve doubled down that China and India are still huge emitters and UK net-zero emissions by 2050 is "frankly unachievable" and "doesn't matter."
Political economy professor Michael Jacobs responded that China has made much more headway than the UK in creating renewable substitutes, explaining that their emissions are large because the country is large.
"India is now experiencing huge pressure from the rest of the world. At COP26...China and India both came under huge pressure from the rest of the world and they've both announced before the conference new targets to reach net-zero.
"They would never have done that if we didn't have the Paris Agreement.
"It is important that we act so we can apply pressure on others."
The caller claimed that "it's not going to happen" because climate activists and scientists "aren't making it resonate with the man in the street."