David Kidney and the United Kingdom’s world leadership on carbon

It is always interesting to visit the House of Commons. It is a fine building perhaps in recent years let down by the antics of its occupants, so when I was invited to an event there by National Energy Action, the fuel poverty charity, I turned up.

The meeting was sponsored by Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, who have recently decided to support National Energy action, and it was interesting to hear their views on the importance of promoting energy efficiency. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which owns Saudi Aramco, does not subscribe to the views that I hold on anthropogenic climate change, but has very strong policies on the need to conserve energy.

One of the speeches was made by Mr David Kidney. He is a junior energy minister and made a speech in which he referred to “UK plc” being a “world leader on carbon”. I was puzzling over this comment as I could not understand how my country leads the world on carbon emission savings.

Its emissions have remained more or less the same for many years, and there have been no great measures to reduce fossil fuelled energy consumption; in fact there has been encouragements for wood burning (an intensively carbon dioxide creating activity) but virtually no support for small scale microgeneration. The present building regulations, where enforced, are hardly a template for low carbon housing.

After the speeches Mr Kidney was kind enough to spare me some minutes of his time. I told him how I was puzzling over the “world leader on carbon” bit of his speech and asked to what he was referring.

He explained that it was about the Climate Change Act; that legislation requires certain specified emission reductions as a matter of law, cumulating in an 80% reduction by 2050. He said that the UK led the world with this legislation. He was very sincere in his expression. I do not doubt he believed what he said.

As we were at a fuel charity event, I pointed out that there was legislation requiring the abolition of fuel poverty by 2015. No, Mr Kidney gently corrected me, by 2016. I suggested that the legislation will not work as everyone knows that fuel poverty will not be abolished by 2016, unfortunately. In fact it has risen dreadfully, and perhaps then, using legislation to create a concept for reducing emissions was  not the way to do it. Perhaps I suggested that we need legislation requiring measures that are in themselves going actually reduce emissions.

I gave an example a measure requiring two microgeneration systems on every new home.

Mr Kidney said that he understood my point, but was, as you would expect, non committal. You can hardly expect a Government minister to do anything other than to support the Government’s policy. The Government has set itself up as world leading in the fight against climate change on the basis of the Climate Change Act. Mr Kidney and the Government of which he is part believes it. The trouble is, only the Government believes it.

2 Responses

  1. We will wake upsoon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: