“Kerry’s talk” (Editorial, 20 October) will count for little if the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – fail to attend the COP26 conference as it means that Western nations require to meet the challenge of reducing the current 20p/unit price of renewable energy to less than 4p/unit to compete with countries such as Germany, Poland and BRIC that still rely on producing the bulk of their electricity from coal-fired power stations.
Closer to home, how does Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie propose that an owner of a flat can afford £40,000 to replace their gas boiler, or the 30 per cent of Scots living in fuel poverty can meet a £6,000 a year energy bill once a ban on gas is introduced by Holyrood? To charge electric vehicles requires a fourfold increase in the current output of 50 TWhours a year of energy but is there a plan that, by keeping the costs of electric cars higher than their fossil fuel competitors, only the rich can afford such a luxury and the poor will be pushed out of the ownership market, thus reducing demand and hence the capital costs of installation of wind turbines?
Quite simply, until there is a massive reduction in the costs of renewable energy, then the economy will be unable to afford the implementation of COP26 policies. After all, what Mr Harvie failed to point out to homeowners is that the £33 billion project he announced at a Green Party conference was just the first phase of a £150bn project – a debt equivalent to 100 per cent of Scottish GDP!
Ian Moir, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway