30. 11. 2007

Another inconvenient truth

Hilary Benn will be mightily upset by the United Nations official report prepared for next weekís Bali Conference. Apart from the fact that it's a very grim read indeed (particularly in the focus it brings to bear on just how disproportionately grim things are going to be for the world's poorest people), it also has some extremely harsh words for the UK Government.

With a startling lack of tact, it kicks off by reminding people of the inconvenient truth that the UK's success in meeting our Kyoto targets is almost entirely due to Mrs Thatcher's passion for decarbonising the UK economy by closing down all our coal mines. Not that much of substance has happened since then.

Even less tactfully, it then wades into the Climate Change Bill, the constantly buffed-up jewel in the Government climate change crown. Whilst acknowledging that it is indeed a “bold and innovative step”, in terms of putting CO2 abatement targets in statute, it points out that it won’t be worth a hill of organic beans without much more radical policies than the Government has currently put in place – particularly on renewables, where the UK is miles behind many other EU countries.

Unfairly, it doesnít seem to have taken proper account of the Carbon Reduction Commitment, a mandatory trading scheme for all organisations whose energy spending amounts to more than £500,000 a year, a measure which should come into force by 2009/2010.

Finally, it powerfully reinforces NGO efforts to persuade the Government to include aviation and shipping in the UK targets, working on the assumption that emissions from these two sectors would increase the UK's budget by around 27% by 2050 - more or less cancelling out half the planned 60% reduction. So it was encouraging that the Prime Minister recently accepted the importance of thinking through the implications of including these aviation and shipping emissions in the budget.

It sums it all up as follows: “If the rest of the developed world followed the pathway envisaged in the UK’s Climate Change Bill, dangerous climate change would be inevitable”.

Ouch!

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Comments

04. 12. 2007
Les

Why can't these guys videoconference? No point, computers produce more CO2 than planes, I read recently (collectively that is). So let's all fly to Bali (I'd love to be there now)and demonstrate our support for tighter controls on carbon emissions and show government representatives just how stongly we feel and sod the tons of CO2 the flight will produce.

Hey! I can always plant a few trees or better still pay someone else (in Indonesia?) to do it for me.

It seems to be OK for the rich and powerful to fly but not for the poor!

09. 12. 2007
anne

I have just dicovered your blog. War is one of the biggest causes of poverty ,destruction of the environment and co2 emissions,

Cynefin y Werin (Common Ground) is an all Wales network of organisations which promotes equality, peace, justice, human rights and co-operation between nations, peoples and communities on the basis of sustainable environmental, economic and social development.

We are campaigning against the massive privatised military training academy coming to Wales to train 10,000 young people for war! This government is privatising military training no less. How crazy is that and who to, arms dealers Raytheon, dodgy corporations like Qinetiq and Serco. You might worry about who they will they be training, mercenaries and anyone from anywhere with the money! Stop the arms dealers and US taking over our military. Sign our e-petition today! See http://www.cynefinywerin.org.uk based at the Temple of Peace Cathays Park Cardiff.

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