The government’s claim that Britain went coal free for a fortnight last year was grossly misleading because power was being imported from countries burning large amounts of coal, according to a think tank. A carbon border tax should be imposed to address these “hidden emissions”, according to the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS). Ministers and the National Grid announced last year that the UK had gone two weeks without burning any coal to generate electricity. Chris Skidmore, who was energy and clean growth minister at the time, said in June: “Just last week we saw an 18-day run of coal-free days – something we haven’t seen since the dawning of the first industrial revolution.” Tony Lodge, CPS research fellow and author of a new paper entitled The Great Carbon Swindle, said that the claim was false because during that fortnight the UK imported 40.4 gigawatt hours of coal-fired power from the Netherlands via an undersea interconnector. “It was not true and was grossly misleading,” he said.
Times 16th March 2020 read more »
Carbon offshoring ‘hides true UK greenhouse emissions’, says report. UK businesses face being at a competitive disadvantage to overseas rivals as growing evidence shows “carbon offshoring” is hiding the true picture of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report today. The paper from the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) think-tank argues that although the UK has made significant progress in areas such as reducing coal-fired power generation, imports of carbon-intensive goods and raw materials from abroad have increased. As well as overstating the UK’s performance on climate change, the CPS argues the practice also discriminates against UK companies which are subject to climate levies, planning and regulatory hurdles that their competitors overseas do not have to face, such as the Carbon Price Floor which taxes emissions. It is now urging the upcoming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to look at introducing a “carbon border tax” on carbon-intensive imports to reduce global emissions and better support domestic industries.
Scotsman 16th March 2020 read more »
When the commercial breaks during Coronation Street start, the UK’s electricity networks are braced for the spike in demand triggered by millions of households putting on the kettle. That’s because the industry thrives on predictability – knowing where to direct electricity and at what times. All that is being turned on its head by Covid-19. As millions of people gear up to start working from home, energy suppliers are furiously modelling what these unprecedented patterns of demand could look like. In Italy, where the country has been completely locked down since last week, electricity use has dropped. The centre of the outbreak, Wuhan in China, also saw a stark drop in energy consumption. But much of those falls came from the shuttering of heavy industry such as steel plants that have voracious appetites for energy.
Telegraph 16th March 2020 read more »