The voter backlash begins
How much more would the car lovers and petrol-heads of Europe take? In draconian style, last February, the EU declared all petrol and diesel cars would be banned from 2035. It was their star policy for the Net Zero push. Car makers would have to cut their emissions by a shocking 55% by 2030 and an unthinkable 100% by 2035. It was to be the end of an era.
The idea was so big and embedded in the EU that only one month ago an insurance insider warned that his company was already devising elaborate plans for a world where everyone had an EV and the insurance giants and the government got access to all your data. Police would be issuing your speeding tickets while-you-drove, and insurance companies would be granting drivers a discount if they allowed them to sell all their data to the highest bidder. Indeed, the word was that insurance companies wouldn’t even insure petrol cars. Obviously only the rich were going to be able to afford a petrol car or an EV “with privacy”.
But now, the largest party in the EU is drafting a policy to ditch the same ban they voted in a year ago. The European People’s Party (EPP) is theoretically a “centre right” party, despite acting like the radical left, but that means they stand to lose their voter-base in a blink as the reality of the bans sinks in, which it has.
Nicolas Vincur and Mari Eccles, Politico
BRUSSELS — Europe’s biggest conservative force, the European People’s Party, wants to massively bulk up the EU’s external guard force and drop plans to phase out the combustion engine across the bloc by 2035, according to a draft of the party’s manifesto obtained by POLITICO. With its heavy emphasis on migration control and call to “preserve our Christian values,” the manifesto reflects the growing strength of right-wing parties across the bloc.
The European Right has discovered anger against Net Zero policies as a powerful theme for mobilising disenchanted voters, as demonstrated by farmer protests in countries such as the Netherlands and Germany. A number of parties across the continent, from the Austrian FPÖ to the German AfD and the RN in France, have been quick to make this a main campaign issue.
What was once an issue for left-of-centre parties to win over voters has now become a toxic vote-loser. This shift shouldn’t surprise us: Europeans support taking action on climate change — just so long as it doesn’t affect their lifestyles.
Once it becomes clear that reducing emissions comes at a significant cost, support for corresponding policies falls dramatically. The German example of the last two years has shown that the green transition is not leading to more jobs and prosperity, but instead the opposite. Germany was the worst performing major economy in 2023
The EU looks like it will have to remove the ban, but presumably they’ll think up other painful, stupid ways to coerce us into EV’s.
The Australian government, meanwhile, is just about to repeat all the EU mistakes but in the most sparsely populated, petrol loving, first world nation on Earth.