purplecthulhu: (Default)
There has been much fanfare about the proposed UK 'carbon law' that will set a legal requirement to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050, and establish 5 yearly 'carbon budgets'. Am I being cynical if I'm not overjoyed by this?

The way I see it is that this is Blair's chance to say he 'sorted the environment' before he leaves office, so that this part of his 'legacy' is fixed. Its also a political tool to establish labour's green credentials before the next election. However, I'm not convinced that the law will actually achieve anything. The timescale is too long - well over 40 years, so it effectively kicks the issue into the long grass, leaving it as someone else's problem. The same is true of the carbon budget, where yearly, rather than once-a-parliament, reviews are needed. The whole scheme is also redolent of labour's 'target' culture, and so far says nothing about how the targets, whether in 40 years or for a given 5-year budget, are to be met.

What we really need is not this kind of nebulous, headline grabbing approach, but real measures and hard cash right now, with more and better renewable power stations being built, real grants, not fancy ow budget one-offs, to allowing people to upgrade their homes, disincentives set up for people flying and more incentives for people to use public transport. Target setting achieves none of the real progress that such measures would bring.

In this context, in spite of the fact that I flew from the UK to the mid-pacific over the last 2 weeks and got my ear bent by a stewardess bemoaning the suggestion, I like the conservative's ideas for making air travel more expensive. Its a practical measure, that should achieve something. Its not high concept hot air.
purplecthulhu: (Default)
There has been much fanfare about the proposed UK 'carbon law' that will set a legal requirement to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050, and establish 5 yearly 'carbon budgets'. Am I being cynical if I'm not overjoyed by this?

The way I see it is that this is Blair's chance to say he 'sorted the environment' before he leaves office, so that this part of his 'legacy' is fixed. Its also a political tool to establish labour's green credentials before the next election. However, I'm not convinced that the law will actually achieve anything. The timescale is too long - well over 40 years, so it effectively kicks the issue into the long grass, leaving it as someone else's problem. The same is true of the carbon budget, where yearly, rather than once-a-parliament, reviews are needed. The whole scheme is also redolent of labour's 'target' culture, and so far says nothing about how the targets, whether in 40 years or for a given 5-year budget, are to be met.

What we really need is not this kind of nebulous, headline grabbing approach, but real measures and hard cash right now, with more and better renewable power stations being built, real grants, not fancy ow budget one-offs, to allowing people to upgrade their homes, disincentives set up for people flying and more incentives for people to use public transport. Target setting achieves none of the real progress that such measures would bring.

In this context, in spite of the fact that I flew from the UK to the mid-pacific over the last 2 weeks and got my ear bent by a stewardess bemoaning the suggestion, I like the conservative's ideas for making air travel more expensive. Its a practical measure, that should achieve something. Its not high concept hot air.

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