Lee Anderson gets schooled in Net Zero row with green energy boss

The Tory defector took aim at 'net zero nonsense', before being challenged in the community notes

Lee anderson mp

Lee Anderson faced a kick back when he bashed net zero in a video about his lawnmower after the green energy boss Dale Vince challenged the Tory defector’s understanding of the strategy. 

In a video posted on X, the MP for Ashfield used an example of him cutting his lawn with a battery powered lawnmower gift as an example of “net zero nonsense”. The ex-Tory turned Reform UK member has previously claimed only ‘odd weirdos’ care about net zero.

The UK is legally committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reaching net zero by 2050 as an essential part of a global commitment to tackle the climate crisis. However the right-wing Reform Party has called for net zero targets to be scrapped, referring to the policy as “net stupid”.

In the video Anderson said: “Just cut my lawns with this electric lawn mower, it’s got batteries on, that’s net zero at its finest. 

“Trouble is I’ve charged it up earlier today and probably the electricity has come from Radcliffe power station about 10 miles down the road that runs on gas and sometimes coal. What a load of nonsense that is net zero.”

However community notes were added to the video which stated that, on the day of filming, the UK grid was being powered by more than 76% renewable and nuclear sources, including more than 50% wind and 10% solar generation.

Green energy boss Dale Vince hit back on X accusing the MP of failing to understand the meaning of net zero before schooling him on renewable power.  

Vince wrote: “You have no idea what net zero means. Your lawnmower is not an example of that. Britain’s grid is nearly 50% renewable now – that’s the better measure of what is powering your battery powered gift. 

“Even if you were using power straight from Radcliffe, that’s 3-4 times more fuel efficient than a tiny lawnmower engine is – and there’s no noise or air pollution for your neighbours – other than you spouting off of course.”

Anderson accused Vince of “virtue signalling” and asked Vince why people’s bills were so high if renewable energy was cheap. To which Vince said that the energy crisis was in fact due to the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels and paying more than we need to because of allowing global markets to set our prices, before he accused the MP of using “click bait net zero headlines”.

The government’s own watchdog has warned that climate policy rollbacks will keep bills high for millions of households while making net zero harder to achieve.

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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