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UK Climate Act Not Tough Enough, Say Krebs and Haigh

April 4, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Robin Guenier


The Conversation had an article last week, written by long time quangocrat Lord Krebs, and Joanna Haigh, Director of the Grantham Institute:

It repeats all of the usual alarmist nonsense, and concludes that the UK needs a “more ambitious” Climate Change Act, to get us down to zero emissions by 2050:



The UK’s Climate Change Act is a pioneering and far-sighted piece of legislation, ushered in ten years ago by a remarkable cross-party consensus in parliament and clear support across the nation.

As we celebrate its tenth anniversary, it is time to ask, though, whether the central ambition of the Act – reducing carbon emissions by at least 80% from 1990 levels by 2050 – is still adequate in light of changing circumstances, or whether it needs strengthening.

Climate scientists are clear that global carbon emissions will have to fall to net zero at some point if the rise in average temperature is to be halted. This is because as long as the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to increase, the temperature is likely to keep on rising. (“Net zero” means that although there may be a small amount of carbon dioxide being emitted each year to the atmosphere, an equivalent amount will be absorbed and stored.)

The UK government, along with all others, acknowledged this reality by signing up first to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report in 2014, and then the Paris Agreement in December 2015.

The IPCC said that meeting the 2℃ target then in place “…would require that global net emissions of CO₂ eventually decrease to zero”. In the Paris Agreement governments committed “…to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century”. In 2016, the UK’s then energy minister, Andrea Leadsom, told parliament: “The government believes that we will need to take the step of enshrining the Paris goal for net zero emissions in UK law.”

Having agreed that a net zero target is necessary, the next question is “when?”


2050 is already too late

In the Paris Agreement, governments pledged not only to hold global warming to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels”, but also to attempt to “limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C … recognising that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”

The government’s statutory advisor, the Committee on Climate Change (the CCC, on which one of us used to sit), advises that in order to stand an evens chance of meeting the 1.5°C aspiration, global emissions of CO₂ need to fall to net zero by the 2040s. The IPCC is producing a special report this year on the case for limiting warming to 1.5°C and pathways for doing so, and is likely to say the same thing.

One of the principles of the UN climate convention is that prosperous nations lead the way. Britain agreed to this back in 1992 and has reaffirmed it many times since. If the science is clear that the global target should be “net zero by 2050”, there is no case for the UK setting a later date – and there is a case for making it earlier.


Leaving aside the scientific basis, Krebs and Haigh display an alarming naivety about what actually happened at Paris in 2015.

All the world’s leaders gathered together, agreed that it would be nice to have Christmas every year, had their photos taken, and went home again. Unfortunately nobody there actually wanted to pay for it.


Nothing in the article undermines their case more than this sentence:

 One of the principles of the UN climate convention is that prosperous nations lead the way. Britain agreed to this back in 1992 and has reaffirmed it many times since.


Since the Climate Change Act was passed in 2008, prosperous nations have cut their emissions by 8%.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world, which was already emitting more, have been busily doing their own thing, and increased emissions by 22%.

We have led the way, but they have not followed.




Why Krebs and Haigh think they will take any more notice of us in future defies logic. One wonders what world the pair of them inhabit.


Apparently though it is the same one that Claire Perry lives on. Last week she also celebrated the Climate Change Act, writing in Business Green:


A decade of bold decision making has delivered – but this is just the start

2008 – a year that historians will look back on with poignant memories in years to come. Barack Obama became the first black President of the United States, Beijing hosted the Olympic Games, and the globe was in the midst of an economic crisis.

Against this backdrop, something radical was happening in our Parliament. The UK’s landmark domestic Climate Change Act passed into law with near-unanimous cross-party support, setting an ambitious legally-binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050. A precious political consensus on climate action was achieved, and has been preserved ever since.

And a report out just today from the London School of Economics presents a clear case that this ground-breaking Act has been absolutely instrumental in advancing climate action globally over the past decade and has provided a framework through which the UK has lead the world in reducing emissions, while continuing to strengthen our economy.

The report also notes the UK’s Act’s truly innovative legal framework and I am incredibly proud that our work is held with such high regard across the globe. It is only fitting that the ‘mother of parliaments’ has produced a first of its kind piece of legislation that is inspiring similar acts in other nations.

But we must never be complacent. The case for climate action is unequivocal and we must continue to not only drive emissions reduction at home, but abroad too. I want other nations to use our climate law as the gold standard for their own emissions reduction policy – and to follow in our footsteps. Just this week, I met with key players in our finance sector, where the Green Finance Taskforce commissioned by this government made wide-ranging recommendations to unlock the vast potential of green investment, trillions of pounds of private sector capital that will be needed to be deployed if we are to meet our binding targets. I now want to take forward these important recommendations – and then see our model for clean growth replicated across the globe.


absolutely instrumental in advancing climate action globally over the past decade

Is she for real?


Then, apparently with all seriousness, she tells us how much this is all going to cost each and every one of us:

 “trillions of pounds of private sector capital that will be needed to be deployed if we are to meet our binding targets”


Welcome to the mad house!

  1. A C Osborn permalink
    April 4, 2018 6:36 pm

    What can we say, it is just so sad. We have the following, in no particular order, that need a Cash Injection now.
    Cheap Housing
    More Social Housing
    Police Forces.
    Fire Brigades.
    And that is just in the UK.

    • Silver Dynamite permalink
      April 4, 2018 8:13 pm

      Add another ten or more categories if the halfwit Corbyn is ever PM.

    • Robert Jones permalink
      April 5, 2018 8:49 am

      And you forgot Defence!

  2. keith permalink
    April 4, 2018 6:39 pm

    Yes, but what do you expect when they worship the NGO gods of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and WWF every morning.

    • Paddy permalink
      April 5, 2018 6:10 am

      Putin’s little allies, (aka useful idiots). This sort of nonsense makes my blood boil.

  3. AngryScot permalink
    April 4, 2018 6:46 pm

    The idiots can’t even get Obama’s skin colour correct ‘Barack Obama became the first black President of the United States‘. Ehm, only half of him fits that bill!

    • HotScot permalink
      April 4, 2018 7:21 pm

      But black president seems so much more inspiring than mixed race president. We’re all mixed race, so the impact would have been suitably diluted.

      • Adam Gallon permalink
        April 6, 2018 11:35 am

        Let alone first Kenyan to become POTUS! 😉

  4. John permalink
    April 4, 2018 7:24 pm

    The biggest bit of tomfoolery yet, on all fronts
    Things like closing down perfectly good coal capacity, before replacement comes on stream.
    Subsidising rich peoples solar panels and wind turbines. Increasing poor peoples energy costs

    One had hoped we would grow a pair after Brexit and have a sensible energy policy, for the 21st century and beyond. Its looking increasingly we will stay on our selected path of self destruction

    Trump seems to have learned and is putting american’s first and not responding to the liberal left virtue signallers

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 5, 2018 9:38 am

      Brexit has yet to happen. We leave the EU in just under a year. Then there will be the negotiation of a future deal to come in at the end of the transition period – currently ending on 31 December 2020 but could extend if the EU require it. The future deal is likely to include climate change commitments and other daft things such as landfill tax. Changing these in the future should sanity break out in the UK government would then require treaty negotiation. Going the EEA/Efta route would mean that we would be free to drop them but then there are morons who think this option is the same as remaining in the EU.

  5. Tom Dowter permalink
    April 4, 2018 8:05 pm

    The more that we try to cut down on our greenhouse gas emissions, the more will we tend to offshore greenhouse gas intensive industries. The net effect of all this on the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will be virtually zero. We will simply have made ourselves poorer than we need be.

    • markl permalink
      April 5, 2018 3:25 am

      That is the intent as stated by the UN. CC has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with wealth redistribution from successful countries to other ‘chosen’ countries.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 6, 2018 7:07 pm

      As I told Claire Perry (I pinched it), we shall become the cleanest Third World country on the globe.

  6. John Hak permalink
    April 4, 2018 9:38 pm

    Perry is one of the Cabinets first class political idiots who spouts total nonsense on Climate Change and its impacts every time she is interviewed or gives a statement. God help us all when fools like this are in Government.

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      April 5, 2018 9:17 am

      Unfortunately she is not the only stupid one in Government, it would seem that a large proportion of the HoC are of the same opinion. How could it get this bad? And just how the hell are this bunch of pigmies going to control the climate accurately? Answers on a postage stamp please.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 5, 2018 3:32 pm

      I really do believe she is worse than Ed Davey, and that takes some doing. She has accepted without question what her green blob civil servants have fed her. I would love Andrew Neil to interview her with the same rigour he used on Davey.

  7. Athelstan permalink
    April 4, 2018 9:55 pm

    If you thought that PotatoED lib Divy was a loon, when matched to Mz Claire Perry, by comparison he potatoED was a sober minded conservative.

    • mikewaite permalink
      April 5, 2018 3:05 pm

      I have never met Ms Perry but from what I have read about her career to date I would guess that her aim is to be Prime Minister in a few year’s time .
      To that end she disposed of her husband (humanely one hopes) , sent her children to boarding school and concentrated on winning the support of the Civil Service . Because that , she rightly estimated, is where the real power lies , not in May , or her Cabinet colleagues , and certainly not in the electorate .
      So if the senior bureaucrats want 100% renewables that is what she will fight for , regardless of cost or the destruction of the environment, landscape and people’s amenities.
      You cannot stop her , but you ( by you I mean T May of course) could deflect her into another dept eg Health where she will use her ambition to produce a health system that really works .
      Win- win . She no longer threatens to destroy our economy and environment and in return we get a health service where old people ( like me) are no longer expected to die on trollies in crowded hospital corridors.

  8. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 4, 2018 10:45 pm

    Let’s not forget the minimal effect of greenhouse gases

    • bobn permalink
      April 4, 2018 11:19 pm

      Now dont exaggerate. So-called Greenhouse gases have a less than minimal effect!

  9. tempestnut permalink
    April 4, 2018 10:57 pm

    Two weeks ago, it was announced that after a deluge of observational data, that earthquakes were electric currents in the earth. This is the modern start of getting back to fundamentals in science. There is even an earthquake prediction app for your phone for magnitude 6 and over earthquakes. Amongst rational thinkers in science there is a growing realisation that our world, our universe is electric. Electricity controls everything. We do not live in a nuclear world or universe. Also the way we generate and use electricity is stone age compare to what we would have if Tesla and others had prevailed, but we got Einstein instead.

    The climate change (nee man made global warming) argument will never be won by using wrong science (even if your answer is correct) against a political argument. For example there are no greenhouse gases, so it is of no use taking about CO2 has this effect or that effect because its impossible to prove. This has been the case for 20 years. And it will continue for another 20 years if the same arguments are used.

    Electric earthquakes signals the death nail of plate tectonics, a huge shift. All the most important geologists realise this, the last bastions to hold out being the scientific journals, surprise surprise. The same deluge of observational data is present that show how the sun directly effects our weather and no doubt in time we will understand how it has controlled climate. Cyclones (hurricanes) and wind are all generated by electricity, or differences in charge, rather than by differences in thermals layers. Some will find this hard to accept, but 10 years ago no one accepted earthquakes were electric currents.

    In my view, the only way we will change the attitude of our political class is by ridicule by demonstrating they are completely out of touch. Many very capable people have demonstrated to the political class that none of their predictions have come to pass, that their decisions by and large have had negative unintended consequences, and that their logic is flawed or missing altogether, yet they carry on. What is left? vote them all out would be the most effective, but there are no alternatives at present. Ridicule is one way, a bit like what is happening over nerve gas at present.

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      April 5, 2018 9:20 am

      But were the decisions made “unintentionally”? I think it was deliberate, it is after all a money spinner for some, a lot!

    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 5, 2018 9:46 am

      Yes, and no. I have known about the cause of earthquakes for a couple of years. It is an electro-magnetic disturbance caused by the solar wind. Every time there is a strong solar wind there is an earth tremour of varying magnitude at the point where the wind stream arrives. Animals are more sensitive to this signal than us and can escape. It does not replace plate tectonics as that still holds true. Volcanic eruptions are due to solar minimum so the next few years will be interesting for those cones that have been threatening to blow or are overdue a biggie.

      • Athelstan permalink
        April 5, 2018 11:00 am

        It would be stupid in the extreme to discount the impact and influence of our star and the ‘solar wind’ on all terrestrial forces, on plate tectonics – we know something but by no means not all the story.

        For my money (for what it is worth) the internal forces within our core, fluid outer core, geomagnetism and rising heat plumes, earth’s magnetic field etc, are still the main contributory factors driving force for major plate shifts. The crust is only a very thin layer, it is subject to all manner of forces and we understand the dynamics therein only darkly and best guess – sometimes.

        Solar influence definitely but to what extent – ask the astrogeophysicists.

  10. Hivemind permalink
    April 5, 2018 2:53 am

    If nobody is following you, you aren’t a leader. You’re just stumbling around in the dark, going “ow” every time you run into a lamppost.

  11. April 5, 2018 5:42 am

    Without any evidence whatsoever in its support, passing the Climate Change Act 2008 was the greatest act of insanity ever perpetrated by any parliament in the UK’s history. After 10 years you might have hoped that a bit of sanity would have returned, but I bet if a similar Act were introduced today, the result would be the same. In other words, the lunatics are still in charge of the asylum.

    • richard verney permalink
      April 5, 2018 8:48 am

      We now have the data from Germany.

      Since 2009, Germany has massively rolled out wind and solar, and yet there has been no meaningful reduction in CO2 emissions since that roll out. It is now clear that increasing the percentage of renewables does not result in CO2 emission reduction because renewable are intermittent and non despatchabe requiring fossil fuel back up.


      Out of all the developed nations, only the USA will successfully reduce its CO2 emissions to any measurable extent between now and 2025 and that is because the US is fracking. Utilising fracked gas is a proven CO2 reducer.

      If the UK wants to reduce its CO2 emissions it needs to either go nuclear (far to expensive) or go hell for leather on fracking.

      • April 5, 2018 10:11 am

        Germany’s problem is that closing nuclear power down has required replacement with coal and/or gas power generation.

        Intermittent power is a luxury but baseload is essential.

      • richard verney permalink
        April 5, 2018 11:35 pm

        I agree that base load is essential, and that part of the issue is Germany phasing out its nuclear power.

        However, the phase out did not begin until 2012, and to date only about 1/2 of the plants have been phased out so one can see that the failure to reduce CO2 emissions started before there was any significant phase out of nuclear.

  12. Stosh permalink
    April 5, 2018 7:12 am

    If all the climate change “chicken littles” would completly stop exhaling CO2 for one day it would solve the problem. And leave a lot more O2 for sane people to inhale.

  13. Jack Broughton permalink
    April 5, 2018 8:50 am

    Given that the earth is warming by 0.6 deg K/ century or thereabouts purely from recovery from the LIA and will therefore pass the 1.5 deg K doom figure soon, what is the origin of the 1.5 (or 2) deg K Armageddon figure?

    Looking at temperature records, especially their AlGorythmic modifications, it could be that the warming is more a UHI effect than climate improvement.

    Since the 1960s there is a very strong correlation between the sunshine hours and mean temperature in the CET data: both will be caused by CO2 rise according to the “believers”, However the likelihood of clean-air causation is much larger given that insolation means less heat reflected by clouds.

  14. Robert Jones permalink
    April 5, 2018 8:52 am

    The Climate Change Act (2008) needs to be repealed, not celebrated!

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      April 5, 2018 9:24 am

      Sooner rather than later, or we are all doomed. Where will May get her money from then?

  15. Gerry, England permalink
    April 5, 2018 9:50 am

    Where exactly was this ‘clear support across the nation’ when the lunatic Climate Change Act was agreed by the collective of morons known as Parliament? Anyone remember being asked?

    • BLACK PEARL permalink
      April 5, 2018 5:04 pm

      Time for another referendum on this one Gerry 🙂
      Its a good money spinner for the Govt £14-15 billion a year 305 billion Euros over all of EU
      ( re one of Pauls older postings)

      So theres no-way in hell that it will ever be repealed !
      Coming up now is the sugar & plastic taxes …. and still no money in the bank
      WTF are they doing with it all ???????

  16. Harry Passfield permalink
    April 5, 2018 6:12 pm

    It may have been pointed out before but this, from her Wiki profile is rather prescient:

    “One of her contemporaries at Brasenose was journalist George Monbiot, who described her in his column for The Guardian as, at the time, “a firebrand who wanted to nationalise the banks and overthrow capitalism”

    Seems to fit.

  17. john cooknell permalink
    April 5, 2018 7:34 pm

    There is already a Climate Change Act in place dated January 1662.

    House Of Lords 11th jan 1662
    The Fast to be observed in Westm. Abbey, and the Bp. of St. David’s to preach.
    ¶Whereas His Majesty hath been pleased, by Proclamation, upon the Unseasonableness of the Weather, to command a general and public Fast, to be religiously and solemnly kept, within the Cities of London and Westm. and Places adjacent: It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in Parliament assembled.

    Samuel Pepys 15 jan 1662
    fast day ordered by the Parliament, to pray for more seasonable weather; it having hitherto been summer weather, that it is, both as to warmth and every other thing, just as if it were the middle of May or June, which do threaten a plague (as all men think) to follow, for so it was almost the last winter; and the whole year after hath been a very sickly time to this day

  18. Gamecock permalink
    April 6, 2018 10:44 am

    Great Britain survived. It must be stabbbed again, deeper.

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