Climate change deal: ‘Zero carbon’ laws promised by government
By Paul Homewood
It looks like we’re going to opt for a quick death, rather than a slow, lingering one.
Comrade Harrabin reports (with the obligatory misleading photo):
Climate laws will be tightened to cut carbon emissions effectively to zero, the government has said.
Under current law, emissions must be cut by 80% by 2050 – but ministers have said this does not go far enough.
Following the climate deal in Paris, it is clear the UK must not increase CO2 at all because the warming threat is so severe, they added.
No details of the law change have been given – and critics said the UK was failing to meet even current targets.
The global climate agreement, which was finalised at a summit in Paris in December, commits to keeping global temperatures "well below" 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity.
Speaking in the Commons, energy minister Andrea Leadsom said government believed it was necessary "to take the step of enshrining the Paris commitment to net zero emissions in UK law".
"The question is not whether but how we do it. And there are an important set of questions to be answered before we do," she said.
"This is an example once again of the House demonstration on a cross-party basis a determination to tackle climate change."
The statement was welcomed by the cross-party group of MPs which pressed for the climate law to be tightened.
Ex-Labour leader and former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband told BBC News: "This will send a signal to other countries this is the right thing to do.
"We very much welcome what they (ministers) have done – now we’ve got to make sure the government deliver on it."
However, many in the energy sector will be baffled by what they see as a schizophrenic attitude to climate change from the government.
While pledging their allegiance to very demanding CO2 cuts, ministers have made a slew of policy changes that are predicted to increase emissions.
Ministers expected that by 2030 the UK would be mainly powered by nuclear, offshore wind and gas with carbon capture technology – which takes the emissions from a chimney and buries them in rocks.
But the government has failed to secure any new nuclear stations, scrapped a competition for carbon capture and threatened cuts in the offshore wind budget unless costs radically fall.
It has also turned its back on the cheapest forms of renewable energy – onshore wind and large scale solar energy and increased the tax on small low-emissions cars so the owner of a Prius pays as much vehicle excise duty as a Porsche.
The decision was followed by an increase in the purchase of the most polluting cars.
The government climate law announcement follows the tabling of an amendment to the Energy Bill by Mr Miliband and a cross-party group of MPs from six parties: Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Green, Plaid Cymru and SDLP.
Where Harrabin gets some of this drivel from beats me.
“critics said the UK was failing to meet even current targets”
Is he not aware that the EU’s target of a 40% cut in GHG emissions from 1990 levels, which they plan to achieve by 2030, will be met in the UK next year?
Or that we are now committed by law to make much more far reaching cuts of 52% by 2023-27?
But the real story is what lay behind Andrea Leadsom’s statement, which Hansard reveals:
New clause 11, tabled by the right hon. Member for Doncaster North (Edward Miliband), would set a new climate change target for the UK. Specifically, it would require the Government to set a year by which net emissions will be zero or less, and to ensure that that target was met for that year and subsequent ones. The year would have to be set within 12 months of the Bill coming into force and following advice from the Committee on Climate Change.
Not content with stitching us up with the hugely expensive Climate Change Act in the first place, the walking idiot, Ed Miliband, now wants to finish the job. Rumour has it that Miliband has been in cahoots again with Bryony Worthington, who twisted him round her little finger in the first place and basically wrote the Climate Change Act herself.
Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, fossil fuels are currently producing 65% of our electricity:
In terms of total energy consumption, coal, oil and gas account for 84%, whilst wind/solar/hydro supply a paltry 2%.
And even this piffling amount comes at a huge cost, something Harrabin never seems to tell us:
Beam me up, Scotty!
Dellers confirms at Breitbart that Bryony Worthington was involved. This is from Miliband’s speech, according to Hansard:
I also thank my Front Bench team and Baroness Worthington in the other place for her support and advice.
The new clause would insert the commitment to zero emissions in the Paris climate change agreement into our domestic law, with the Committee on Climate Change advising on when it should be achieved. It is the right thing to do and the science is clear: the world needs to get to zero emissions early in the second half of this century, and it is worth reminding the House of the debate’s context.
We know from recent scientific analysis that 2015 was the hottest year on record. The record for global temperatures has been broken in each of the past five months, with February’s record broken in shocking fashion. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are now higher—this is hard to get your head around—than they have been for at least a million years. That is what the scientists tell us and it highlights the necessary urgency, which is shared by Members on both sides of the House.