The government has rejected the latest recommendation from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to fully include international aviation and shipping emissions under the UK Climate Change Act, insisting emissions from international journeys should be dealt with under the auspices of UN agreements. The CCC has made multiple requests – most recently just last month – for the UK to take responsibility for emissions from international shipping and aviation where planes and boats are departing or arriving in the UK. Without doing so, the UK is likely to need to hit net zero emissions earlier than 2050 to make a fair contribution to global decarbonisation efforts, the CCC warned at the time.
Business Green 21st Oct 2019 read more »
The green energy revolution and cleaner cars have helped cut Britain’s carbon emissions by a third as the economy weans itself off fossil fuels, new research shows. Total carbon emissions, including those that are “imported” from abroad, peaked in 2007 and have fallen since, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found. The carbon-intensive energy industry saw the biggest plunge in UK-generated emissions between 1985 and 2016, dropping 67pc as suppliers switched from dirty fossil fuels, such as coal, to natural gas and renewable sources. More efficient and cleaner vehicles knocked a third off transport emissions, while gases from factories slid by 43pc according to the ONS. Its research challenges the view taken by eco-activists such as Greta Thunberg and many in the Extinction Rebellion protest group that economic growth and rising greenhouse gases are unavoidably interlinked. This view has even led to calls for growth to stop completely – despite fears from mainstream economists that this would send worldwide poverty surging and cause catastrophic damage.
Telegraph 21st Oct 2019 read more »
Britain has contributed to the global climate emergency by outsourcing its carbon emissions to developing nations, according to official figures, despite managing to weaken the domestic link between fossil fuels and economic growth. The Office for National Statistics said the UK had become the biggest net importer of carbon dioxide emissions per capita in the G7 group of wealthy nations – outstripping the US and Japan – as a result of buying goods manufactured abroad. The ONS warned that Britain had increased its net imports of CO2 emissions per capita from 1.7 tonnes in 1992 to 5.1 tonnes in 2007, offsetting domestic progress on shifting the UK economy away from fossil fuels. According to the ONS study, China was the biggest single source of Britain’s imported emissions, as the UK ramped up purchases of goods such as mobile phones made in the Asian country, where labour costs are lower and pollution regulations less stringent. The second biggest contributor to imported emissions was the EU, followed by the US. The ONS warned that environmental damage could not be stopped by nation’s simply relocating the production of goods from advanced to developing nations.
Guardian 21st Oct 2019 read more »
Letter David Lowry: in the analysis of MPs’ voting record on bills to combat climate change (Tories five times more likely than other MPs to vote against bills to tackle climate crisis, 12 October), both Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas are marked as 92% supportive on the basis they voted to “keep nuclear power subsidies relatively low”. This clearly implies that voting for higher nuclear subsidies would increase their score on lowering carbon emissions. Nadhim Zahawi, the business and energy minister, compounded this view, telling parliament in a written statement on 17 October: “Nuclear … will continue to play an important role as we transition to a carbon neutral economy.” But it is a demonstrably false viewpoint. A recent assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from differing power generation technologies by Prof Mark Jacobson indicates that nuclear CO2 emissions are between 10 to 18 times greater than those from renewables. In a newly completed chapter, Evaluation of Nuclear Power as a Proposed Solution to Global Warming, Air Pollution, and Energy Security, in his forthcoming book, 100% Clean, Renewable Energy and Storage for Everything, Jacobson argues: “There is no such thing as a zero- or close to zero-emission nuclear power plant. Even existing plants emit due to the continuous mining and refining of uranium needed for the plant. Overall emissions from new nuclear are 78 to 178g of CO2/kWH, not close to 0.”
Guardian 21st Oct 2019 read more »