UK Climate Change targets and letter to MP
Thinking of writing to your MP?
Not sure what to write?
This letter sent by Mark Boulton (and printed with his permission) to his MP, Nadim Zahawi, highlights vital topics. It includes some comments on the report produced by the Committee on Climate Change on 13 Oct 2016 on UK Climate Action following the Paris Agreement
I’m sure you are well aware that OXFAM, Christian Aid and many other organisations are voicing their concerns on climate change this week and like so many others I am writing to you to request your support.
More than 3,500 churches (including ours here at Mickleton) have now switched their energy supplies to clean green sources of energy – encouraging the move towards the development of more sustainable energy sources.
Yet at the same time there are moves to change the rateable value of rooftop PV installations proposed by the Valuation Office Agency which could result in a 6-8 fold increase in business rates for businesses, schools, and community groups for the use of their own rooftop solar!
I have already referred in past emails to the dismal failure of the plan for all new homes to become zero energy by 2016 and the poorly planned Green Energy Deal; surely if there is to be any discussions on change; surely moves to greener energy should benefit organisations and individuals who are raising funds (and often using their own capital) to install energy saving systems.
Almost the entire focus of government – if indeed there is any real focus – is about how we should generate more energy rather than about how we could save it in the first place. So why is it not mandatory in the building regulations for all new homes to have at least a basic solar hot water installation? I doubt the cost would be much more than £500 on a new house yet this would provide free hot water for at least 6 months of the year (and there is little argument on this as this is exactly what I and many of my friends have already done – in my case at my own expense as the relevant Government Dept doesn’t even understand how thermal stores (the most efficient form of solar hot water installation) actually work! Again I speak from personal experience, as following a government inspection on the eco-house here at Colemans Hill Farm my feed in tariff was actually taken away!
As if this were not enough the Government is now overriding local councils and public opinion and vigorously pursuing fracking despite scientific advice from the Government appointed quango – and I quote – says:
“The Climate Change Act specifies a target to reduce emissions in 2050 by at least 80% on 1990 levels…. The 2050 target is very challenging to meet and requires major effort to reduce and limit emissions. Should emissions from… uncontrolled expansion of aviation, little or no CCS, failure to decarbonise heat .. (be allowed) then the 2050 target would be at risk … and it is very unlikely it could be achieved. Should an onshore petroleum gas industry be established in the UK and grow quickly, this would have the potential for significant impact on UK emissions. Our assessment is therefore that onshore petroleum gas extraction on a significant scale is not compatible with UK climate targets.”
How on earth could our government be so blinkered in their decision to go ahead with Cuadrillas application with that information in front of them? Cuadrilla make no secret of the fact that they see considerable potential for developing several more wells in the UK.
A report compiled last year by University College London in the journal ‘Nature’ states that a third of all oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80% of current coal reserves need to remain in the ground for the international community to reach its goal of staying below a maximum of 2 degrees C average temperature rise. In the light of this how on earth can our government be so blinkered in their decision to go ahead with Cuadrilla’s application – especially when Cuadrilla make no secret of the fact that they see considerable potential for several more wells throughout the UK; just look at the map of proposed sites.
Finally the report produced this month by the Committee on Climate Change
(https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/UK-climate-action-following-the-Paris-Agreement-Committee-on-Climate-Change-October-2016.pdf) should leave us in doubt about the challenge we face and which the Government must respond to . . . It must:
” Vigorously pursue the measures required to deliver on existing UK commitments and maintain flexibility to go further. The most important contribution the Government can make now to the Paris Agreement is publishing a robust plan to meet the UK carbon budgets and delivering policies in line with the plan. Meeting the carbon budgets will require economy-wide improvements to efficiency, decarbonisation of electricity and scaling up of markets for zero-emission vehicles and heating. Current policies, at best, will deliver about half the required reduction in emissions. Acting with urgency to close this policy gap would reduce long-term costs and keep open options for the future. If all measures deliver fully and emissions are reduced further, this would help support the aim in the Paris Agreement of pursuing efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.”
Ratifying the Paris climate deal from the UK Prime Minister is an important step but it won’t be worth the paper it’s written on if the government continues to invest in dirty fossil fuels. “We need a clear plan from the UK government as to how they are going to meet the target of 1.5°C of global warming – and that can’t include going ‘all out’ for shale gas, or building new coal mines”.
Some food for thought!