05 March 2007

Labour's Climate Strategy: "Just A Lot Of Hot Air"

The government's claim to be "leading the world on tackling climate change" is simply another product of the Downing Street spin machine.

This is the conclusion of an independent peer-reviewed audit of the Government's planned greenhouse gas reductions. The report, discussed in The Guardian, predicts that the government will not reach its 2020 target of a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions until 2050 and concludes: "What makes these failures most shocking is that Blair's government took office in 1997 with a massive head start. When John Major left office, the UK was one of the few nations on course to meet its Kyoto commitments, with plenty of emissions to spare. That advantage has already been squandered."

However, while offering a valid critique of the Government's failure to deliver on its own goals and objectives, it appears not to move the debate on. Rather than endlessly wondering at what rate the world's climate might be changing and to what extent mankind might be responsible – valid academic questions for the scientists – or setting meaningless artificial targets, surely the focus of politicians' questions needs more practically to be, for instance, how we are going to end our dependency on the world's finite reserves of oil and to achieve energy security without damaging either our economy or our ability to compete internationally?

2 comments:

Gwen H said...

It is all right the Government telling us to use energy efficient light bulbs and getting things built without standby facilities, but what are they proposing for all the companies - offices and shops - that leave lights burning all night? It puts our small savings in the shade.

sceptic said...

So, Britain's CO2 emissions are now at their highest level since Labour came to power a decade ago, nearly 3 per cent above our 1997 levels, thanks to our switching from expensive natural gas to cheaper coal to generate our electricity. Yet the government still wants to bind successive (almost certainly not Labour) governments to five-year targets for cutting emissions by at least 3 per cent each year. When is the left going to get their heads out of the clouds and get to grips with reality?