Climate Change Bill -Mr Benn makes the climate hotter

On the 16th November I blogged about Mr Hilary Benn boasting that his proud new  Climate Change Bill would show the world real leadership at the forthcoming Climate Change Conference in Bali. It was clear to me at the time that Mr Benn had lost the plot, as have the whole government of the United Kingdom when it comes to dealing with reducing emissions.

Mr Benn is in charge of the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and on their web site he claims that the Climate Change Bill: is a ground breaking blueprint for moving the UK towards a low carbon economy.  It will bind us to legally enforceable emissions reduction targets at home, while giving us greater clout at the international negotiating table.”

I thought that this was nonsense at the time. You cannot negotiate yourself out of climate change but you have to provide leadership. I could not see any developed nation being impressed by this blueprint; I thought as a strategy it was risible.

Some readers of my blog agreed with me but the story seemed to lie fallow for a couple of weeks.Then, thanks to some good work by Larry Elliott and Ashley Seager of the Guardian (who presumably have to trawl through dozens of press releases to find one gem), I learnt that the United Nations had also criticised the “British Blueprint to tackle Climate Change”. This was reported in the Guardian on Tuesday 27th November.The United Nations Human Development Report held that if other developed countries follow Britain’s “flawed blueprint” for reducing its carbon footprint, we would see high rises in global warming.

The United Nations felt that the British Government are lacking in ambition to tackle climate change. As part of this country’s microgeneration industry I would go further; they lack not only ambition, but commonsense and understanding. In short our climate change policy makes us a laughing stock, not a leader.

The U N’s report particularly points out our heavily polluting coal fired power stations, our transport policy and our lack of renewable energy as sectors that have to be dealt with before we even have a sporting chance of meeting our emission targets. There are no plans afoot to address our coal power station’s emissions, or to deal with our mish-mash of a transport policy; we do know however that train travellers can look forward to very heavy fare increases next year that will make the cost of travelling by rail even more expensive that the cost of taking the same journey by car.

As far as renewables are concerned the United Nations is unfortunately spot-on. Does Mr Benn seriously expect the whole of the European Union to look to our policy as leading them when the per capita installation of every European Union country of microgeneration comfortably exceeds ours? Here we commit less taxpayers’ money to renewables than the members of parliament spend on their parliamentary housekeeping. We certainly cannot be accused of providing leadership on renewables.

It is very easy to laugh at Mr Benn and his colleagues for a foolish Climate Change Bill that will probably have the effect of changing the climate, but not in the direction that Mr Benn wants it to change. I suspect that if all the developed countries followed the lead of H M Government on Climate Change we would find temperatures rising over the next 25 years by more than 5 degrees Celsius. And that would be no laughing matter.

4 Responses

  1. As is seemingly often the case in politics, the politicians do not really understand what it is all about. If they then realise they don’t understand they go off on fact finding missions, wasting more of the tax payers money, and of course increasing the dear old carbon footprint still further. On returning they make bold statements (why does Mr Cameron come to mind here?) usually leading to nothing, or a change of job in the cabinet.

  2. It is so sad; it’s so important and the politicians don’t understand what it’s all about.

  3. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  4. What do you think is the position? Do you agree with Mr Benn?

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