Sunday, 17 February 2008

Kicking difficult problems into the long grass

I just got an email from WWF asking me to join their campaign on Scotlands climate change bill, to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. This may sound good to some people, but targets so far in the future imply that we have lots of time to solve this problem, which is wrong wrong wrong. The grey parties all have similar targets. The Labour draft climate change bill, published in March, set down a target to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% on 1990 levels by 2050, and an interim target of a 26%-32% reduction by 2020. The Conservatives say that they want to achieve a reduction in CO2 of at least 80% by 2050. The party has adopted a proposal make Britain carbon-neutral by 2050, they have also adopted the Green Party Policy of Contraction and Convergence. But does all this rhetoric mean that emissions are falling in the UK? No actually they have been rising. Are Lib Dem and Tory controlled councils reducing their emissions, um no actually, they regularly promote airport expansion and road building.

The Green Party position is different from all the others, by wanting yearly reductions of 9% a year, starting now. We do not have time for this, we need urgent action. The UK could be a world leader in the renewable energy industry if only the Government would support and invest in this sector. Instead we lag way behind most other EU countries. We have huge resources for wind power generation and tidal power, but we're not acting on this.

See other parties policies at

See the Green Party Policy at

The WWF does some important campaigning regarding emissions. They stated last year that 'an increase of 6% over 2005 - after a sector-wide return to coal use driven by high gas prices and increasing electricity demand. The sector's emissions have now reached the highest level since 1992, cancelling out all of the gains from the so-called dash for gas in the 1990s'. see
Keith Allott, Head of Climate Change at WWF-UK said: "This is a disgrace for Britain, and shows that for the past decade the government has talked a good game on climate change while failing dismally to tackle emissions from this highly polluting sector.

A more recent campaign from them says

Letter from WWF below

'Dear Adrian,

The Scottish Government has just published proposals for the most progressive climate change legislation in the world: the Scottish Climate Change Bill. If the proposals are passed, they could commit Scotland to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 – the target that all developed countries should make if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Take action here to encourage the Scottish Government to be bold and lead the world:

Now is your chance to show the Scottish Government that there is international support for bold legislation, setting Scotland as the example for other countries to follow.

If every country in the world had the same ambitions for a legal framework
that ensures that the necessary cuts are delivered, then together across the world we could really tackle climate change.

Send an email now and show your support:

Thank you,

WWF International

P.S. The more people who take action, the greater the chance we have of success. So please forward this email to your friends and family and ask for their support.'

Well I am publicising their email, but not exactly as they intended.

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