UK’s new energy policy “direction” demonstrates the Government’s climate sceptic credentials

This is a quick response to Amber Rudd’s (Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change) speech “on a new direction for UK energy policy“ - 18th November 2015.

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Behind its confident bluff and eloquent rhetoric the UK Government’s new energy focus reveals its contempt for contributing to any meaningful deal on 2°C in Paris. 

Through smoke and mirrors Amber Rudd claims her Government’s love affair with gas is aligned with the UK’s domestic commitments on climate change. But this is all an elaborate ruse – one in which too many academics, NGOs and climate change experts are complicit. The UK’s domestic carbon budgets are far removed from the Government’s repeated international commitment for the UK to make its fair contribution to “hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius”. 

Whilst some gas may just about squeeze into the UK’s budgets, these are themselves premised on a very high chance of exceeding 2°C. More disturbing still, the Government then assigns a significant and highly inequitable slice of the global carbon budget to the UK. To cap it all off, they then assume that a large scale uptake of highly speculative negative emissions technologies will, in some far off decade, suck our CO2 emissions out of the air. 

Dismantling this expedient catalogue of nonsense leaves the UK with a ‘fair’ 2°C carbon budget that has absolutely no emission space for a new fleet of high carbon gas-fired power stations – the arithmetic is that simple!