George Monbiot: We can’t build our way out of the environmental crisis. All over the world, governments are using the pandemic and the environmental crisis to justify a new splurge of infrastructure spending. Sure, we need some new infrastructure. If people are to drive less, we need new public transport links and safe cycling routes. We need better water treatment plants and recycling centres, new wind and solar plants, and the power lines required to connect them to the grid. But we can no more build our way out of the environmental crisis than we can consume our way out of it. Plans to build a new hydrogen infrastructure in the UK appear to have been hijacked. In August, the head of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Chris Jackson, resigned in protest at the government’s plans to promote hydrogen made from fossil methane, rather than producing it only from renewable electricity. He explained that the government’s strategy locks the nation into fossil fuel use. It seems to have the gas industry’s fingerprints all over it. Environmental change cannot be delivered only by infrastructure. To be effective, it needs to be accompanied by social change: travelling less as well as travelling better, for example. We need to develop not only new railways and tramlines and wind farms and power lines, but a new way of life.
Guardian 1st Sept 2021 read more »
In a new report published this morning, the Energy Systems Catapult has outlined a series of market and policy reforms that it claims could help the UK meet its climate goals, including the expansion of the new post-Brexit emissions trading scheme to cover heating and road transport emissions and the launch of a publicly-funded, centralised greenhouse gas removals system that could catalyse the development of a thriving carbon removals marketplace by 2050. The net zero innovation and technology centre has also called for the creation of a new carbon monitoring, reporting, verification, and accounting regulator that would work with industries where emissions are hard to measure, such as agriculture.
Business Green 1st Sept 2021 read more »