Britain Goes Cooler On Warming Targets

Posted on Wed 10/05/2011 by


Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

A big call from the British Government in May:

The UK is to put in place the most ambitious targets on greenhouse gases of any developed country, by halving carbon dioxide emissions by 2025, after a tumultuous week of cabinet rifts on the issue.

Second thoughts in October:

George Osborne has vowed the UK will not lead the rest of Europe in its efforts to cut carbon emissions, raising the prospect that the country’s carbon targets could be watered down if the EU does not agree to more ambitious emissions reduction goals.

In a potentially explosive intervention, Osborne insisted the government will only cut emissions in line with its neighbours to ensure British businesses are not disadvantaged….

“We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business,” he said. “So let’s, at the very least, resolve that we’re going to cut our carbon emissions no slower, but also no faster, than our fellow countries in Europe.”

He also stressed the UK accounts for less than two per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 40 per cent from the US and China, warning that if the UK attempts to cut emissions too quickly, carbon-intensive businesses will simply migrate overseas.

Significantly, Osborne said he had “insisted” on a commitment that the UK’s emissions reductions would not outstrip the rest of Europe as part of the agreement on the recent fourth carbon budget, which commits the UK to halving emissions against 1990 levels by 2025.

This is a reference to the deal brokered earlier this summer, which saw the UK agree to the ambitious targets recommended by the Independent Committee on Climate Change, but only after the Treasury had secured a commitment to review the targets if the EU failed to agree to similarly ambitious targets for post-2020.

Which leaves warmist Adair Turner’s comments last month looking … overheated:

AUSTRALIA is debating how to take action to reduce carbon emissions. Many fear that doing so will hit prosperity and jobs.

In Britain there is a general appreciation that a low-carbon economy can be a prosperous one, and that the costs of global inaction on climate change would be great. There is therefore cross-party consensus behind the stretching target of an 80 per cent cut in Britain’s greenhouse gas emission below 1990 levels by 2050. This was made a legal commitment of the British government by the Climate Change Act of 2008.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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