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« Wood insanity be the reason? | Main | Mann makes friends »

Grinding to a halt

Readers will remember the UN ruling that Ireland's energy policies were non-compliant with the Aarhus Convention, a point that was somewhat moot since Ireland had not actually ratified the convention anyway.

However, the implications of the ruling were clear for the EU. Nation states are not able to plough on with policies that are alleged to deal with climate change without the consultations that are mandated by the convention. A test case, put before them by Christine Metcalfe, a community councillor from Taynuilt in Argyll, has now been accepted by UNECE. Her "communication", the questions that UNECE require her and the UK government to answer, together with her response can be seen on the UNECE website. The UK government reponse is due in the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, the government and planning authorities around the country are in a quandary. The earlier ruling would appear to mean that the UK's headlong rush for wind power is illegal. Would responsible public authorities give the go-ahead to any more wind farms until the UNECE has ruled on the Metcalfe case? We will have to see. Judgement is expected in the middle of next year.


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Reader Comments (16)

This post gives a link to the UNECE website listing the correspondence submitted by Christine Metcalfe and the UNECE's initial assessments..The latter give an insight into the bullshit level within the EU, but the link marked 'communication' gets you to Mrs Metrcalfe's contribution.

This is well worth a read.

I only wish we had councillors of this quality in my local council. Her article is well written, well argued, and roasts the Scottish Executive.

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

This will take a lot of studying. My reponse from DECC was that the UKNREAP relied on the RES consultation. I'll dig it out.

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

In fact the DECC response is:

The drafting of the NREAP used the content and analytical work contained within the Renewable Energy Strategy, published by the UK Government in July 2009. In developing that Strategy the Government published a consultation in June 2008, together with Impact Assessments of proposals for renewable electricity, renewable heat and transport. The UK Renewable Energy Strategy consultation and related documents can be found at:

Sep 25, 2012 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I think Mrs Metcalfe's handbag needs to be made of the finest buffalo hide, potentially much work ahead in the corridors of green power.

Sep 25, 2012 at 12:23 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Yer Grace, do you mean "moot' in the American or British sense?

Sep 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

As much as I'd like to believe this could put UK energy back on track, I can't see the EU ever allowing this gravy train to be derailed.

Sep 25, 2012 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

"There's no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years so you've had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaints and its far too late to start making a fuss about it now."

Sep 25, 2012 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

This issue of democracy is rapidly coming to a head:

Davey was allegedly indoctrinated by Porritt at Oxford. The windmills are a cross between the Windmill on 'Animal Farm', the Easter Island Statues and the Swastika, their real purpose, a symbol of the dominance of the EU State.

To stop this behemoth is going to prove difficult because it also involves creating a new political alliance to extract power from the hands of the new fascists. The other part of the game has been the removal of power from true intellectuals by replacing them with fellow travellers, like Nurse of the RS.

Today's article by Evans-Pritchard about the threatened separation of Catalonia is interesting too:

It's a rerun of the 1930s with the windmill lovers the equivalent of the appeasers.

Sep 25, 2012 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Here's what I think will happen.

1) Yes, technically your energy policies were non-compliant with the Aarhus Convention.
2) However it was done in "good faith"
3) so here is retrospective approval.
4) Please continue as before.

Sep 25, 2012 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Have we actually got to the stage that we are hoping the EU will save us from UK Green evangelists?

Sep 25, 2012 at 3:21 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Have we actually got to the stage that we are hoping the EU will save us from UK Green evangelists?

No we are relying on the UN of IPCC fame so no real guesses on the outcome.

Sep 25, 2012 at 5:17 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

You'll forgive me if I don't start gettin' all giddy over this, although I must say what a rather marvellous and feisty lady is - Christine Metcalf.

Sep 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Who watches the watchkeeper?

The citizen will have to do it. As to how it is done and your rights (or lack of rights) to do so - see article specifically in relation to Scotland from the Friends of the Eearth (Scotland) below:

Also at:

However, there is quite a bit going on in this area at the moment, with one really significant case just heard in the European Court two weeks ago:

Also at:

As Irish it is nice to know once again (and this is not the first case) that my tax money is being used by 'my' administration in a European Court, specifically with the aim of ensuring that I do not get the Rights due to me as a European Citizen.

Sep 25, 2012 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterPat Swords

If nothing else it is delightful to think of the irritation this causes in the ranks of the faithful, and that for once the DECC's and DEFRA's, have to grovel to explain their arrogant non-compliance.

Just imagine if we have to be reimbursed all historic obligatory green energy taxes like the dodgy insurance premiums the banks now have to refund!

Sep 25, 2012 at 10:07 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

what on earth to make of this?

26 Sept: Bloomberg: Biggest English Polluter Spends $1 Billion to Burn Wood: Energy
by Kari Lundgren and Alex Morales
Drax Group Plc will spend $1 billion to turn the U.K.’s biggest coal-fired plant into western Europe’s largest clean- energy producer. The U.K. utility plans to convert one of the facility’s six units to burn wood pellets by June, Chief Executive Officer Dorothy Thompson said in an interview. Drax at a later date plans to switch over two more units to the fuel, investments that if completed would mean the facility harvests a forest four times the size of Rhode Island each year…
Selby-based Drax plans to spend as much as 700 million pounds ($1.13 billion) through 2017 upgrading its boilers, ordering millions of tons of biomass from around the world and building facilities to store the fuel, including four silos each bigger than London’s Royal Albert Hall, a 135-foot (41-meter) high oval concert venue with an 800-foot circumference…
***Though burning biomass releases carbon dioxide, the European Union deems the technology carbon-neutral because trees absorb emissions in a similar proportion to what they release in burning. Opponents argue that it’s hard to ensure enough is being planted to compensate for what is burned…

Sep 26, 2012 at 7:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

You must be forgetting The Francovich Judgement. Irish Politicians and Elite Administrators did. Look where that go( or is going tp get ) them.

Sep 27, 2012 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterSean O'Dubhlaoigh

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