Introduction from Nick Read, HGN Co-chair

It’s hard to remain optimistic, given the state of the world: Gaza, Ukraine, biodiversity etc.,and Donald J Trump as the front-runner for the Republican nomination. Advisers to the former President are already strongly hinting that, if re-elected, he would significantly reduce Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which offered $369 billion in tax breaks and subsidies in support of clean energy. Instead, they say, we can expect clean energy rules to be scrapped and expansion of drilling to boost fossil fuel production, together with rolling back more of Biden’s regulations aimed at accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.
If that depresses you to the same extent that it depresses me, nevertheless it is also worth bearing in mind that, according to, whilst oil production did rise in Trump’s first term, in spite of his rhetoric the US economy actually lost 2.9 million jobs, unemployment rose by 1.6%, the US International Trade deficit rose, the Federal debt rose by 50%, illegal immigration increased and US coal production actually declined by 26.5%, whilst carbon emissions from energy consumption dropped by 11.5%.
Whilst it lies beyond the ability of any one of us to tackle climate change and reach carbon net zero, the evidence also strongly suggests that it lies beyond the ability of any one person, no matter how powerful, to completely command an economy and reverse the good that so many people have committed to achieving. Onwards and upwards!
Nick Read OBE FRAgS

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