When boasting is not enough

When it comes to renewable energy Ministers in the United Kingdom have always talked a big game. They have claimed for many years that Britain is a world leader in climate change too, pointing out the Climate Change Act which makes it unlawful for governments not to reach emission reduction targets but without any penalty being imposed for the future. Ministers trumpeted the expertise and excellence of Britain’s renewable energy.

If there was a World Cup for renewable energy we would find that the performance of the United Kingdom more lamentable than the performance of England in the real World Cup.  I doubt if we would get into past the qualifying competition. We simply do not have enough of it and we have little expertise in it, which for a resource that will become increasingly important to our safety, well being and economy, is rather an odd situation.

Just as the England football supporters want to believe that their team was excellent and contenders for the World Cup, so politicians have the same belief, with about as little evidence to base it on as the football supporters. Ministers were hoping that an Act of Parliament full of pious hopes and an emissions trading scheme which is fundamentally flawed, will catapult the United Kingdom into the first rank of renewable energy creators.

In fact the United Kingdom comes almost at the bottom of the world renewable energy league of developed and developing nations. That draws a convenient parallel with the England football team.

It takes more than words to win the World Cup and it takes more than words and market mechanisms to combat climate change. Mr Terry, the England centre half thinks he was born to lead and “stuff like that”. The old Government thought that they were leading the world on climate change measures, when in reality, they were leading non one nowhere. We need a football reality check now it is more important than ever to have a reality check for the climate change measures of the United Kingdom.

Just like football matches, anti-climate change measures are based in reality, not vacuous words.

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