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Paris Offers Chance To Roll Back The Climate Change Act

December 14, 2015

By Paul Homewood 





MP Peter Lilley has described the Paris Agreement as “toothless”, as the Telegraph report:


Britain risks being left “out on its own” pursuing even tougher green targets in the wake of the Paris climate agreement, as the "toothless" deal means other countries may fail to deliver on their promises, MPs have warned.

The UK’s own legally-binding climate change goals could be further strengthened in the wake of Saturday’s agreement, which commits countries to keep global warming to “well below” the previous UN goal of a 2C limit, experts said yesterday.

Yet despite David Cameron’s claims that the Paris deal “puts the onus on every country to play its part”, Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, admitted there would be “no tough compliance” on countries that failed to carry out their own pledges.

Peter Lilley, a Conservative MP and member of the Environmental Audit Committee said: “The agreement is fairly toothless. The only people who take any notice will be people like us.

“We’re already out on our own, we’re the only ones with such a legally binding target and that’s going to be hugely costly and as a result of this treaty we’ve got greater legal obligations than we had previously.”

The Paris deal will place a legal obligation on countries to set increasingly ambitious targets for cutting emissions, and to submit to five-yearly reviews to check their progress.

But the targets themselves will be up to each country to decide, and their implementation will not be legally binding.


So where do we go from here?


The INDC for the UK, is as a part of the EU submission, which commits to a cut in emissions of 40% from 1990 levels by 2030.

In fact, we have already achieved a reduction of 36% by 2012, the latest year figures are available for. (These cover all GHG gases and LULUCF, as the INDC pledges).




Yet here is the rub. The UK has already legislated for a cut of 50% during the period of the Fourth Carbon Budget, which runs from 2023 to 2027.




This was legislated in 2011, pushed through Parliament by the criminal, Chris Huhne.

We are, therefore, already committed by law to make much greater cuts than the EU is, or we are obliged to. But worse still, Gummer’s Committee on Climate Change has recommended that we increase emission cuts to 57% for the Fifth Carbon Budget, 2028-32.

This is suicidal. The only justification for setting of higher targets originally is that they would encourage the rest of the world to follow suit.

It must now be self evident that this has not happened. Even according to the UNFCCC, the INDCs will result in emissions increasing up to 2030. Only an idiot would expect China, India and the rest of the developing world to start making massive cuts after 2030, and there is certainly nothing in the Paris Agreement which mandates this.

All Paris has achieved is to kick the can down the road for another 15 years and more. My belief is that this failure has handed us the first real opportunity, since it was passed, to begin to roll back the Climate Change Act.

It is unrealistic to expect enough Parliamentary support to actually scrap the wretched Act now. But to throw out Gummer’s latest damaging proposals, and even amend the Fourth Budget to a 40% target cut, in line with the rest of the EU, is maybe now within grasp.

Certainly George Osborne has warned repeatedly that Britain cannot afford to go it alone with such policies. It also seems highly likely that Poland and its allies in Central Europe will object to EU binding targets for 2030, in the light of Paris.


Naturally, the ridiculous Bob Ward and his chums will fight this tooth and nail, as the Telegraph reports:


Despite this, Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, said he expected the CCC to recommend that the UK increase its own targets in the wake of the new Paris deal, which sets more ambitious goals of keeping warming well below 2C and trying to keep it to 1.5C.

Mr Ward insisted countries like India and China had a “great incentive” to meet their own targets because they “understand the risks of climate change”.

Nick Mabey, of climate change consultancy E3G, said: “We need China and India to cut emissions faster when pledges are reviewed in 5 years’ time. The best way to persuade them to be more ambitious is to carry on delivering steep cuts in the UK and EU.”



In fact, the battle is really only just beginning. What is important now is that we get these facts out in the public arena and hope that our MP’s finally take notice.

  1. December 14, 2015 7:51 pm

    Mabey’s notion that ‘showing leadership’ will persuade China and India to follow suit is delusional. Obama made the same arguement, as well as saying climate change was the biggest issue the US faced. Not ISIS, the growling Russian bear, the deficit, or the unaffordability of his ‘Affordable Care Act’ (Obamacare). Clearly also delusional.

    In the US, we have a simpler task of rolling back Obama’s implementation than you in the UK do, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. 23 states have sued on grounds it is unconstitutional, and have asked for a preliminary injunction staying implementation (undue burden grounds) until that issue is resolved. This will go to the Supreme Court. The US’ foremost constitutional scholar has provided a brief outlining three independent reasons CPP is unconstitutional. Very strong, simple reasons.

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    December 14, 2015 8:40 pm

    Gummer’s Committee on Climate Change has recommended that we increase emission cuts … (to) … encourage the rest of the world to follow suit.

    I have no idea why this should be the case. Cutting emissions in the manner now underway is a retreat to a lower standard of living. Leadership would be using nuclear to replace as much in-country energy as possible. Leadership would encompass developing new nuclear technology and selling that to China and India. China, especially, needs to get air pullution lowered. Thus, a win-win strategy.

    Two other things:
    1. Those reading tea leaves regarding the U.S. economy are flummoxed as to whether the financial system will go belly-up this week or in the spring. The POTUS and friends might begin to notice – real soon now.
    2. See Chiefo’s site (13 Dec.) about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Serious transfer of power to the executive branch if this passes. Claim is that Obama can do all he wants about just about anything – trade, the environment, immigration, patents, copyrights, and labor laws – with support from the treaty’s commission. Multilateral environmental agreements are a big part of the 5,544 pages.

  3. Tom O permalink
    December 14, 2015 8:48 pm

    A person, or a nation, only “leads by example” IF they can afford it. There is no “western” nation that actually is in that position at this time. Western nations are “rich,” so I am told, but mostly because the wealthy hold stocks in companies that they moved “off shore” to China, India, and the rest of the “developing” nations, thus giving up the true source of our wealth – their manufacturing capacity – while keeping the profits from them. The nations aren’t rich and they are getting poorer by the day, but the wealthy have no problems living in a society where the increases in costs are marginal compared to their income. Not so for those of us that are at or near the bottom of wage earners – even welfare recipients live better than we do, and thanks to subsidies, will ride out the increases in cost of living better than we can.

    But the bottom line is we can sacrifice for real reasons if necessary, but for phantom ones? How sad that we are asked to do so. And finally, I have come to the conclusions that these COP() affairs are only to prove to the world that sovereign nations can not pull together to “save the planet,” thus we need a world government so save Gaia for our grandchildren.

  4. December 14, 2015 9:00 pm

    From 1980 we had to slow down global warming “caused” by CO2, in 1998 nature quit warming and started staying the same, global temperature-wise. Ice cores show CO2 rises following temperature rises, cold times with elevated atmospheric CO2.
    But democratically elected governments still see decarbonization as a vote-winning strategy, there is something very wrong with us. How sad.

  5. December 14, 2015 11:08 pm

    My suggestion is for govt to pass the “fight against climate change” to the people, encourage individuals (especially BBC “journalists”) to travel less, eat less meat, turn off the central heating, etc. No way should people be denied natural gas for heating/cooking, or forced to pay a tax for it, but they should be encouraged to use less of it.

    Genuine greens would welcome such an initiative, those with hidden agendas would hate it 🙂

  6. December 15, 2015 2:59 am

    What drives me nuts about the media coverage of the Paris climate farce is that NO ONE questions the validity of the premise that man made CO2 has anything to do with global warming that has been going on since the end of the little ice age. The fact that there is NO SCIENCE supporting man’s CO2 as a cause of warming has been totally ignored. Obama says the science is settled and the world says OK let’s limit our CO2. In the 20rh century CO2 increased from 280 ppm to 380ppm. That is one molecule of CO2 was added to 10,000 molecules of air. Of that one molecule man with all our coal burning power plants and jet planes and SUVs is responsible for 4 % cutting our contribution 25% so that man now produces 3% of that one molecule instead of 4% of that one molecule. Seriously does anyone really think that this change will have any effect on the climate? Seriously??

  7. Rowland Pantling permalink
    December 15, 2015 10:12 am

    Gummer, Maybey etc are like the delusioned Colonel Nicholson in the film “Bridge on the River Kwai”. He sets out to prove how good the prisoners are at constructing the bridge without considering the consequences. It only dawns on him at the very end when he discovers the plot to blow up the bridge and says “my God, what have I done?” then conveniently falls on the plunger as he has been shot!

  8. Richard permalink
    December 15, 2015 12:42 pm

    this is where the world is going from here- ain’t nothing stopping fossil fuels. Governments throw the greens a bone to make them feel they are doing something good Copenhagen , Paris……… much like a postman throwing a bone to the mad dog so he can deliver.

    In the US, whilst they have been arguing about the Keystone pipeline they have built ten of them – 12,000 miles of oil pipeline built in the US in the last 5 years,

    oil tanker construction on the increase.

    “Pipelines in the oil and gas business
    To support this growth in energy demand, pipeline infrastructure has grown by a factor of 100 in approximately 50 years. It has been estimated that world pipeline expansion could be up to 7% per year over the next 15 years. This means over 8000km/annum of pipeline being built in the USA alone, at a cost of $US8 billion/annum.

    Figure 8. New, large diameter pipelines are expanding Internationally, 32,000km of new pipelines are constructed each year: this is a $US28billion business, and 50% of these new builds are expected in North and South America.
    Additionally, 8,000km of offshore pipelines are being built per year: this is a $5billion business with 60% in NW Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico.

    The total length of high pressure transmission pipelines around the world has been estimated at 3,500,000km. The ‘split’ is:
    ~64% carry natural gas;
    ~19% carry petroleum products;
    ~17% carry crude oil”

    World Oil And Gas Pipe Demand To Reach 51.8 Million ……...
    World demand for oil and gas pipe is expected to increase 5.3% per year, … Demand for line pipe will benefit from construction of new transmission lines needed” ..
    “As 2015 began, operators had announced plans to build more than 41,700 miles of crude oil, product, and natural gas pipelines extending into the next decade, a 21% increase from data reported last year (OGJ, Feb. 3, 2014, p. 90). Most of these plans (more than 66%) are for natural gas, consistent with the share for this segment seen in previous years”
    oh and building of coal powered stations on the increase.

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