The rich can relax. We just need the poor world to cut emissions. By 125%
The rich can relax. We just need the poor world to cut emissions.
British and G8 climate strategy just doesn’t add up. As soon as serious curbs are needed it turns into impossible nonsense
guardian.co.uk, Monday 13 July 2009 21.00 BST
Well, at least that clears up the mystery. Over the past year I’ve been fretting over an intractable contradiction. The government has promised spectacular cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. It is also pushing through new roads and runways, approving coal-burning power stations, bailing out car manufacturers and ditching regulations for low-carbon homes. How can these policies be reconciled?
We will find out tomorrow, when it publishes a series of papers on carbon reduction. According to one person who has read the drafts, the new policies will include buying up to 50% of the reduction from abroad. If this is true, it means that the UK will not cut its greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050, as the government promised. It means it will cut them by 40%. Offsetting half our emissions (which means paying other countries to cut them on our behalf) makes a mockery of the government’s climate change programme.