by Bishop Hill
Pat Swords is well known to readers as the man behind the legal challenge to the Irish government's renewables policy. Here he writes about the current state of play.
Ultimately the wind and climate change scandal at EU, member state and municipality level is nothing more than a reflection of a weak democracy. If people solely express opinions, then the political process and the administration which fawns to it, will just exist to manipulate various opinions to maximise its agenda. If progress is to be made, we have to move away from public opinion to holding the administration to account on the detail, in particular did it follow the procedural requirements to reach the position it is now in. For instance it may not be quite so important that the Climate Research Unit derived a somewhat unique version of climate change records, but it is hugely important that they acted unlawfully in relation to the transparency of how they derived this. Who watches the watchman? Unfortunately it is left to the concerned citizen, mostly being those who do 'detail' to enforce these standards. Not the Lord Oxburghs of the world. Only in such a manner is the dreadful position we are now in going to be reversed, before more collateral damage occurs.
In relation to my endeavours. The High Court Judicial Review of the Irish Renewable Energy Programme takes place on the 15th January and slowly it is starting to get traction, see for instance the nice press article below:
The UNECE hearing on the Scottish renewable energy programme took place in Geneva on the 12th December, see press article on this below.
Progress was made there too. The Compliance Committee clearly understood that there were significant legal failings with both the Scottish / EU renewable energy programme and the approval process for the two projects in question, the Carriag Gheal wind farm and the associated forestry access route. Shortly written questions in relation to these will be presented to the Parties by UNECE for answer by the end of February.
Knowing that as 2013 progresses, more interest will be shown in the above and similar, I have prepared the attached draft document. It outlines how the position was reached, such that the Irish renewable energy programme is in a Judicial Review, and more to the point, where this has the potential to lead to. Not all people will be interested in reading such detail, even fewer using it as a guide to act themselves, but there are always a few, as the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw put it: "The reasonable man adapts his needs to the world, the unreasonable man persists in adapting the world to his needs, therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man".
So Happy New Year and if you have the possibility to circulate this draft to a wider audience, I'd be interested to read their comments.