The BBC is trumpeting a joint statement by David Cameron, Ed Milliband and Nick Clegg which spells economic doom for the UK. If ever there was a good reason to vote on May 7th for the only party committed to scrapping wind farm subsidy and nonsense ‘climate targets’, this is it.
The battle lines are drawn for me now. Energy policy is an important element in my campaign platform. Let’s take apart the statement’s key bullet points and assertions below the break.
“if [coal fired generation] is to continue, the emissions will need to be captured and stored in rock formations.”
This is a commitment to ‘Carbon Capture and Sequestration’, an incredibly inefficient and expensive process of taking harmless Carbon Dioxide out of power station flue gases and compressing it, transporting the liquid CO2 and injecting it down boreholes or old north sea oil wells. It means we will have to burn 30% MORE coal to get the same amount of energy onto the grid. This will of course make the electricity at least 30% more expensive at a stroke, and that’s not accounting for the considerable investment costs.
- to seek a fair, strong, legally binding, global climate deal which limits temperature rises to below 2C
Hubris. They are merely displacing the emission of CO2 to countries which won’t impose such stupid and costly regulations on energy production, since our (remaining) energy intensive industrial businesses will move to stay competitive. This means no cut in UK CO2 emissions however large will change the global surface temperature by any measurable amount.
- to work together, across party lines, to agree carbon budgets in accordance with the Climate Change Act
This means destroying our economy before 2030, since the CCA calls for staged targets reaching 20% of current emissions levels of the harmless and life-essential trace gas CO2 by 2050.
- to accelerate the transition to a competitive, energy efficient low carbon economy and to end the use of unabated coal for power generation
This is an oxymoron. There is and can be no such thing as “a competitive, energy efficient low carbon economy”
So what lies behind this utter insanity?
The Green Party says the UK should be making much more urgent progress towards getting the country powered by renewables.
Labour leader Ed Miliband recently restated that tackling climate change “goes to the heart of” his beliefs. A Liberal Democrat source said tackling climate change was in the party’s DNA.
Greenpeace welcomed the new statement. Its director John Sauven said:
“This pledge marks a turning point in the collective effort to take Britain’s energy system out of the Victorian age and into the 21st century. Party leaders now need to set a clear expiry date on coal pollution, stop subsidies to coal plants, and start investing in the clean energy infrastructure this country really needs.”
What the Greenblob won’t say is that we rely on coal for a significant part of our reliable, non-intermittent energy supply and the the grid will collapse if we change the proportion between reliables and unreliables like wind and solar. If these same leaders do manage to start a war with Russia, and the kind of war-drums nonsense we were hearing on BBC question time last week makes it a distinct possibility, the Russians will turn off their gas export pipelines to Europe, which the EU relies on for 30% of its gas, then coal fired generation will be vital while we develop our shale gas resources.
I’m at a loss to understand why our spurious leaders are running these risks with our energy security, and I’ll leave it to Talkshop readers to offer their thoughts.