UN criticises UK and Germany for betraying Paris climate deal
By Paul Homewood
The Guardian peddles that latest UN propaganda:
Ban Ki-moon’s climate change envoy has accused the UK and Germany of backtracking on the spirit of the Paris climate deal by financing the fossil fuel industry through subsidies.
Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and UN special envoy on climate change and El Niño, said she had to speak out after Germany promised compensation for coal power and the UK provided tax breaks for oil and gas.
Governments in Paris last year not only pledged to phase out fossil fuels in the long term but to make flows of finance consistent with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
“They’ve [the British government] introduced new tax breaks for oil and gas in 2015 that will cost the UK taxpayer billions between 2015 and 2020, and at the same time they’ve cut support for renewables and for energy efficiency,” she told the Guardian.
“It’s regrettable. That’s not in the spirit [of Paris]. In many ways, the UK was a real leader [on climate change] and hopefully the UK will become again a real leader. But it’s not at the moment.”
The criticism comes as Theresa May’s government has come under fire at home and abroad for its leadership on climate change after it abolished the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Senior figures such as the outgoing UN climate change chief have urged the UK not to abandon its climate commitments as it leaves the EU. “Let us remember that the Brexit vote was not about climate change,” said Christiana Figueres.
Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green party, said: “This damning indictment of the UK’s energy policy comes just days after our new prime minister scrapped the Department of Energy and Climate Change and appointed an environment secretary who has consistently voted against measures to tackle climate change.
“I urge Theresa May to listen carefully to Robinson’s remarks and start reversing the damaging policies put in place by her predecessor – like giving tax breaks to fossil fuel companies while cutting subsidies for renewables.”
So we get a special envoy for El Nino (yes, I know, you could not make it up, could you?), and the ludicrous Natalie Bennett. Nothing like a bit of serious reporting, never mind balance, eh?
Well, I hate to spoil the greenie love in, but here are a few inconvenient facts:
1) In the last decade, oil and gas producers in the UK have paid £67 billion in taxes. Yes, paid, not been subsidised.
Revenue has fallen sharply in the last two years, due to falling oil prices.
2) Oil and gas producers pay 40% tax on profits
For fields developed after 1993, operators pay 30% corporation tax, plus an additional supplementary charge of 10% on all profits.
The current tax rate for all other companies is 20%, so it is the oil companies that are subsidising everybody else, not the other way round.
In addition, there is a ring fence mechanism for oil companies, which prevents them from diluting profits with losses from other activities.
3) Subsidies to renewable energy producers are estimated by the OBR to cost the UK £47 billion in the next five years.
4) Fuel duties raise £28 billion a year.
In the next five years, drivers will pay £142 billion in fuel duties.
If the UN is so concerned about flows of finance consistent with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, maybe it should ask the Chinese govt why it is both financing and constructing a huge coal power station in Kenya, as just announced this week.
Apparently the Greeks used to have different gods and goddesses for just about every weather phenomenon, so I look forward to the UN appointing special envoys for La Nina, April showers, light breezes and fog. It certainly would not be any dafter than whatever it is Mary Robinson is supposed to be doing!