The trouble is that politicians can implement long-term policy initiatives safe in the knowledge that they would have been put out to pasture long before the real-world impact of said initiatives comes to light. The practicality of Boris committing the UK to all-electric motoring by 2030 is open to question simply because of the shortened timeframe and lack of supporting infrastructure. Meanwhile, Joe Biden has pledged that the US will account for “net-zero emissions” by no later than 2050 – this from an economy reliant on fossil fuels for 80 per cent of its primary energy consumption.
The take-up of renewable energy sources has thus far been a gradual process, but the accelerated transition implicit in the policy commitments would require further regulatory measures, vastly increased subsidies and tax breaks at a time when the public finances of both countries are in disarray. There are signs, however, that City institutions might be willing to take up some of the slack.