Britain Gives Up Trying To Lead World On CO2 Emissions

wind turbines times headerBritain will go no faster than other countries in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the government has signalled. In a speech setting out the government’s position on climate change, Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, said that the need to cut emissions had to be balanced against the requirement to protect the economy and keep down energy bills.  –Ben Webster, The Times, 24 July 2015

Amber Rudd also signalled that she would stop Britain’s policy of unilateral decarbonisation at a faster rate than other countries, as mandated in Mr Miliband’s Climate Change Act of 2008. Supposing the Paris conference produces its expected fudge, what should our energy policy look like? The Poles and other Eastern European countries are opposed to going it alone again, even before a non-binding agreement in Paris. That will give the British government the opportunity to revisit its own targets. According to part 1, section 2, of the Climate Change Act, the secretary of state has the power to amend the act’s CO2 targets if there is a significant change in international climate policy. She should grasp it. –Matt Ridley, The Times, 27 July 2015

Politicians and climate bureaucrats are looking for fudges. It is, in its way, a perfect solution. It is a legally binding agreement to disagree about carbon. Each country is legally bound to do exactly what it wants. It is an elegant escape from the climate treaty dilemma; the diplomats can report success, and the world can turn away from a misbegotten negotiation that has already caused humiliation (ask your favorite EU representative how Copenhagen turned out) and can only yield impasse as long as it is pursued. To produce a failure but to call it success is one of the oldest political tricks in the book; this is probably now the best case scenario for the global treaty movement. –Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest, 18 July 2015

Recent pledges for national climate action are vague, complicated and barely comparable, casting doubt over the transparency of a prospective global agreement to be reached later this year. The emissions pledges that countries have submitted so far show all of the problems of leaving the task of setting targets to countries themselves. Perhaps most seriously, there is a question mark over the quality of national reporting of historical emissions. If this is just educated guesswork, then the targets are meaningless. –Gerard Wynn, Responding to Climate Change, 24 July 2015

For more than a decade now, the belief that, thanks to global warming, Arctic ice was vanishing has been for the warmists the ultimate poster-child for their cause (along with those “vanishing” polar bears). In 2007, with the aid of scientists such as Wieslaw Maslowski and Peter Waddams, the BBC and others were telling us that the Arctic would be totally “ice free by 2013.” But, alas, it just isn’t happening. In recent years there has been more polar ice in the world than at any time since satellite records began in 1979. In the very year they had forecast that the Arctic would be “ice free”, its thickness increased by a third. Polar bear numbers are rising, not falling. Temperatures in Greenland have shown no increase for decades. –Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 26 July 2015