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« Renewable optimism | Main | BH favourites in the Lords »
Tuesday
Jul152014

Doom-laden Deben

The latest report of the actions of the Committee on Climate Change has been published today. This is how it finishes....

Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said: “Climate Change demands urgent action. We have started on the road and we are being joined by much of the rest of the world. However, despite our success, the UK is still not on track to meet our statutory commitment to cut emissions by 80 per cent. The longer we leave it, the costlier it becomes. This report shows the best and most cost-effective ways to ensure we meet our targets. There is no time to lose.”

It is all going really well, except for the parts that aren't.

Today's Moderator.

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Reader Comments (47)

Lord Deben always reminds me of a ventriloquists dummy with the greens operating him.

He is a longtime believer in CAGW and has no scientific qualifications whatsoever. Did anyone expect him to say anything else?

He is the John Laurie of advisers - "We are all doomed"!

Jul 15, 2014 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Doesn't Gummer have a conflict of interest in giving that advice? If it's going to be costlier if we wait, won't he and his fellow troughers make more money out of it?

Jul 15, 2014 at 8:59 AM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

Yet if we leave it forever, it won't cost anything.

Jul 15, 2014 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

and we are being joined by much of the rest of the world

The USA's contribution to CO2 reduction is a "fortuitous" side-effect of their move to fracked gas, nothing else... The Germans have started to burn lignite..! China, India, Brazil et al don't seem to give a b*gger...

What planet is the dishonest, troughing idiot on?

Jul 15, 2014 at 9:02 AM | Registered Commenterpogo

I note that offshore wind is described as a "promising technology". Given the £billions that have already been wasted on massive offshore wind farms (white elephants), it is not obvious what offshore wind is promising; apart, that is, from higher electricity bills.

I've now disvcovered what it means by promising:

However, it is promising, in the sense that there is a large potential and strong evidence to suggest that costs can be reduced significantly to the point where offshore wind will be competitive in the future.

Promises, promises. What planet do the members of the CCC live on?

Jul 15, 2014 at 9:19 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"What planet do the members of the CCC live on?"
Ours, sadly.

Jul 15, 2014 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Bates

"our statutory commitment to cut emissions by 80 per cent"

Really? I thought the EU target was 20%, and that's hard enough. 80% is unfeasible, unless Mr Gummer would like to lead by example and give up all the comforts of home to go and live in a yurt.

Perhaps it said "to 80%" but would he know the difference?

Jul 15, 2014 at 9:30 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

He is a longtime believer in CAGW and has no scientific qualifications whatsoever. Did anyone expect him to say anything else?

Jul 15, 2014 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Well at least the BBC won't be interviewing him without a health warning, if they stick to their recently stated principles.

Jul 15, 2014 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

"recently stated principles"

I think the Beeb's principles are like Groucho Marx's - "if you don't like them, I have others".

Jul 15, 2014 at 9:34 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

""Foundations have been laid for the electric vehicle market and for demonstration of carbon capture and storage (CCS), although uptake of electric vehicles has been low and progress with CCS has been frustratingly slow. In other areas, progress has been limited, notably in energy efficiency improvement in the commercial and industrial sectors and in the uptake of heat pumps. Previous good progress in residential energy efficiency fell away with the new policy regime in 2013.""

Surely if you translate that statement into English it means, " Nothing is happening and it has all gone dreadfully wrong."

Jul 15, 2014 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

"our statutory commitment to cut emissions by 80 per cent"

That is the figure in the UK Climate Change Act, relatively harmless as the Act can/will be repealed at any time, subject to the Mother of all Green Zombie Borg Collective Body Snatcher wailing and finger pointing. Luckily, we have a secret weapon: power cuts defeat all Greenery.

The killers (literally for some elderly people) are the EU targets, and the ones that comes out of the Planet Saving UN meeting in Paris 2015.

Jul 15, 2014 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

The 'green deal' is running out of cavity walls to fill – bound to happen!

Lord Deben who is also President of Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE International – environmental lobbyists), concludes with the statement "we are being joined by much of the rest of the world".

He must live in a global warming cocoon, COP21 is already in trouble to judge by recent headlines.
'Forget China: India’s Coal Use Soars'

'India won’t agree to any binding cuts on emissions as it has not utilized its share of earth’s carbon space '

'India, Brazil, South Africa and China have said they will not agree to any binding cuts in their emissions'

'Reality Check: China Still Rejects Binding CO² Targets'

Jul 15, 2014 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterShieldsman

Shieldsman,
Forget India and China, Germany is building lignite fuelled coal plants as we speak. It is probably cheap from the Eastern parts of the Country. But one has to ask, if Germany, a leading member of the evil EU can build more dirty plants, why on earth are we closing ours down? Shurely shome mistake!!

Jul 15, 2014 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Buxton

The government should be compelled by law to inform the electorate of how its policies are going to be achieved, at what cost, and what life will be like if the policy is achieved.

How is the UK going to cut its CO2 emissions by 80%?

What wiill this entail, and at what financial cost?

What are the implications for industry, the consumer and on the economy, in particular the jobs market?

If CO2 is cut by 80%, by what amount will UK temperatures be reduced?

If CO2 is cut by 80%, by what amount will global temperatures be reduced? There should be a double projection. First projection should be based upon the assumption that other countries do nothing to reduce their CO2 emissions, and a second projection given on the basis that other countries do no more than they are presently doing to cut their own CO2 emissions. The projection should not be based upon the assumption that other countries will follow our lead and will also commit economic and social suicide. that other countries

Lets see some hard detail of the policy.

Jul 15, 2014 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

The report reads like an unrealistic diet plan. It brings forward minor successes and skates quickly through major setbacks. Even just following the relatively simple issue of electric car sales shows they have a Walter Mitty appraoch to cutting CO2. They keep reiterating the reductions in CO2 from 1990 without admitting that most of the fall was the switch from coal to gas. I'm not sure what percentage of the CO2 reduction from industry is the result of departure from our shores but I bet it's significant.

I can't decide why I despise these people more, for having swallowed CAGW hook, line and sinker or for making such a mess of trying to reduce CO2.

Jul 15, 2014 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

They are not happy with us:
Residential energy efficiency. "Progress and ambition remains low."
Renewable heat. "Take-up very low."
Commercial sector. "...not much evidence of energy efficiency improvement in the commercial sector.."
Power Sector. "...there is a high degree of uncertainty about the support for low-carbon..."
Electric Vehicles. "..the uptake of electric vehicles has been low."

"Because of the slow progress in meeting targets the Committee recommends a change in our behaviour."
Any suggestions?

Jul 15, 2014 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterM. Stevens

Another Doom laden report from Westminster

Anybody would think Parliament is facing another sex scandal.

Jul 15, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

The Brits need to go find Monty Python and have him clear areas to stack corpses frozen during winter due to lack of heat. Then change the video clip from the black plague episode to a one using a sled dogs pulling a cart. The BBC will be able to use it as part of their evening news programs along with a running total of corpses.

Jul 15, 2014 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

NO climate obsessed policy or action taken to date has made any difference whatsoever in CO2 or the climate.
How is that success?
Nation after nation is repudiating CO2 limits, more nations are building coal fired plants, more nations are rejecting the financial scams that support climate obsessed industries like wind mills.
So who is joining what?
And finally, since weather patterns, weather events, and weather extremes are all flat line in regards to change, why are the climate obsessed still calling their obsession "climate change"?

Jul 15, 2014 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

The political incompetents who committed the UK to CO2-savings objectives without ensuring the existence of a clause along the lines of 'in the event that CO2 is not proven wholly to cause Global Warming', should be held to account.

Jul 15, 2014 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Joe Public: The targets in the Climate Change Act 2008 can be amended:

if it appears to the Secretary of State that there have been significant developments in—

(i)scientific knowledge about climate change, or

(ii)European or international law or policy,

that make it appropriate to do so


In other words, if Ed Davey were removed and replaced by a sensible person, then the target could legitimately be set at 0%.

Jul 15, 2014 at 11:46 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I read the minutes of their April meeting (http://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/CCC-meeting-minutes-250414.pdf) and the last item on the agenda sums it up:

7. AoB
The Chief Executive’s bonus award was recommended to the Committee and unanimously agreed.

Jul 15, 2014 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterredc

Recall BSE and his daughter ? Once a fool always a fool.

Jul 15, 2014 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterferdinand

As pogo has pointed out, Deben's claim that the UK is being joined by much of the rest of the world is complete nonsense. Surely he knows this?

Within the last few weeks, negotiators have been clear that the developing economies (the "Non-Annex I" countries listed under the UN Climate Change Convention of 1994) have no more interest in accepting binding emission reduction in Paris in 2015 than they were in Copenhagen in 2009. These countries - which include major economies such as China, India, South Korea, Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Iran - were (in 2012) responsible for 67% of global GHG emissions. Moreover, as Canada, Russia, Japan and probably Australia are moving away from commitment, countries responsible for about 75% of global emissions are most unlikely to agree to reduction. And, as the US, responsible for about 14% of emissions, will not - despite Obama's rhetoric - agree to unilateral reduction, essentially only the EU, responsible for little more than 10%, is left.

That's a rather narrow view of "the rest of the world".

For more detail see this.

Jul 15, 2014 at 1:13 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Mr Gummer on the question of CCC, I ask were's the beef?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where's_the_beef?

Jul 15, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

"Recall BSE and his daughter ? Once a fool always a fool."

Since we are still waiting for an explosion in CJD cases it would appear that, on the contrary, that was a rare occasion when he was right.

Jul 15, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

@ Phillip Bratby 11:46 AM

Thanks for that info.

Presumably, the Secretary of State would enquire to DECC, the Met Office & all the other parasites whose livelihood depends upon there being Climate Change, that there has been no significant developments in scientific knowledge about climate change.

Jul 15, 2014 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

'The UK leads the world in the manufacture of chocolate teapots...'
Which would be why, along with the mythical 'being joined by the rest of the world' with 'renewables', its not happening because its the policy of the madhouse (or the politician with your nose in the trough)....

Jul 15, 2014 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Phillip Bratby: your note about how the CCAct might be amended is accurate. Unfortunately, however, the procedure required for such amendment is hardly any easier that repealing the Act. See my exchange with Ben Pile in the concluding comments here.

As Ben said:

... it wouldn’t matter if Jeremy Clarkson was made SoS, and Monckton and Dellingpole replaced the CCC. The SoS cannot change the parameters of the CCA single-handed, he needs to bring the majority of the House with him – ‘by order’.

Jul 15, 2014 at 1:54 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

TinyCO2: Jul 15, 2014 at 10:37 AM

"I can't decide why I despise these people more, for having swallowed CAGW hook, line and sinker or for making such a mess of trying to reduce CO2."

Tiny, I guess I see it more as the 'carper-baggers' and chancers, liars, thieves and politicians (and that one collective noun could be a synonym for all three previous adjectives!) in our society using 'CAGW' as a means to an end. I do not, for one minute believe that they themselves have any belief in the science itself; it's just a means of enriching themselves and their mates, and if it means that our country goes to hell in a hand-cart, so what. The Chinese have a way of dealing with swindlers and toe-rags like this. I'm beginning to think they are right.

Jul 15, 2014 at 1:56 PM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Joe P.

There have been no significant developments in scientific knowledge about climate stasis either.

Jul 15, 2014 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

They are living in cloud-cuckoo land. Their recommendations include: “By 2016, publish a strategy to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) in both power and industry” and “In 2016, set a carbon intensity target range for 2030 under the Energy Act 2013, consistent with cost-effective decarbonisation of the economy (e.g. 50-100 g/kWh).” How do they think defining impractical strategies and setting unfeasible targets is going to achieve anything, other than bankrupting us?

Jul 15, 2014 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Brodie

@DaveS
"Since we are still waiting for an explosion in CJD cases it would appear that, on the contrary, that was a rare occasion when he was right."
Wrong!
It was just another occasion when he was lucky, and so were the millions of lives that he gambled with!

He is still gambling with the public now, gambling that though they grumble about what he does, nobody will have the gall to call him out on it. So while GB Ltd goes down in flames, his windfarms will keep fanning the embers of a nation's destruction.

Jul 15, 2014 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

The loss of Owen Paterson from DEFRA is very bad news indeed. I doubt Mrs Liz Truss has the first idea about farming, she has the usual ppe from Oxford and has never worked in anything except industry as an accountant.

Jul 15, 2014 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterphilip foster

The existing program of increasing generating capacity by promotion of wind energy is wasteful, uneconomic and ineffective in reducing CO2 emissions and should be curtailed immediately .

Our economic, environmental and social well being depend upon reliable and efficient access to electricity at competitive prices. The government is committed, for whatever reasons, to greatly reducing emissions of CO2. Wind power may well have a role to play in meeting these goals- but any assessment of the scale and benefit of that role should not start by asking how to ensure that large investments in wind generation take place.

What matters is whether this particular form of generation meets two key requirements: (a) does it generate electricity in a reliable and efficient manner, and (b) does it reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a reasonable marginal cost per tonne of CO2 saved. It is clear that the current arrangements for subsidy of wind power fail to meet both these criteria.

We must conclude that either government policy is not rational or that it actually has different, un-stated objectives.

As all our transportation, much domestic heating and more than 70% of our electricity generation is based on fossil fuel combustion to attain the present target a corresponding reduction in the size of the vehicle park and abandonment of much existing road transport and electricity generation infrastructure would be inevitable. To argue that transportation can be converted to electric vehicles is specious as our actual generation from “renewables” is totally inadequate to the level of demand that would exist and in any case we would not have sufficient fossil fuel generating capacity left for domestic and industrial consumption, not to mention that needed to back up the unreliable renewable capacity.

The ultimately decided energy policy must explain what is to be achieved and must quantify the economic benefits to be derived from this course of action and demonstrate that the benefits WHICH MUST BE CLEARLY EXPLAINED AND QUANTIFIED exceed the costs, which must also be QUANTIFIED AND EXPLAINED), by a very large margin.

This is clearly a case where the costs and adverse impacts will be real, painful and up front , while the benefits , IF ANY, are largely hypothetical, uncertain and in the distant future.

Jul 15, 2014 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterGlebekinvara

Addendum. Gummer reading between the lines........

Firstly not bad for a nobody with half a wit, I want to thank you all - friends of the green agenda - for helping me bring this about and thank you Dave and Red Ed and Jean Claude Juncker for being there and giving your support.


Despite the very best efforts of the green space cadets, British industry and manufacturing is still breathing, so we shall forthwith have to redouble our ambition to shut down Britain's revenue streams as soon as poss', thus, more green taxes - the carbon tax escalator will hopefully do the work. Fortunately all the coal fired generators will be shut down soon and that will hasten our decline into a land where occasional electrical lighting is a surprise rather than expected.

In the meantime it is becoming a race between our quest for the philosophers stone which is ongoing, and that other noble dream CCS all of this will set us back and I am thinking of writing a new book entitled - "light years behind with the progressives".

Finally, In alliance with greenpiss, soon [not soon enough really] as the green agenda really takes hold after next years successful conference [COP en Paris!] with its new binding CO2 emissions limitations treaty. As factories and manufacturing closes down and as a consequence most Britons are forced out of work. Mass employment will be tackled thus, we are working with North Korea to use their specialist know how - starving the people, the communal farm and working the land without machinery.

Indeed all you high priests of green and various hangers on - which in Britain is probably most of the public sector, the corporate elite and the big investment banks. I think you'll all agree with me, that, Britain will be first among the nations of the western world where the people did nothing to stop the regression to build an agrarian Utopia and note that, Britain is on the path back to full employment and the middle ages.

Jul 15, 2014 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

So how is this heroic global 'battle' against 'climate change' actually panning out, then?

BRICS nations - no serious interest.
Africa - no influence at any level.
Europe - Home to the worlds dearest energy (Germany, Denmark, I think) UK energy policy a shambles.
Germans building coal power as if there's no tomorrow.

The only nation showing worthwhile CO2 reductions is the US - due to the accident of shale gas. (which greens still oppose)

CO2 levels: rising to 400ppm and beyond.
Global temperatures: flat lining, with a recent hint of - God forbid! - a downward trend.

By any normal assessment 'Big Green' has been a disaster.

Jul 15, 2014 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshirered

"waiting for an explosion in CJD cases"

According to my ENT consultant, the incubation period is about 25 years, so it could still occur. In any case, Gummer's foolishness was not expressing certainty over an unknown (normal for governments and climatologists) but using his young daughter to back it up. Maybe he panicked, but if it was premeditated, it was unforgivable.

Jul 15, 2014 at 3:11 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Robin Geunier @ 1:54pm

I could well be wrong but IIRC was there not some sleight-of-hand legislation a while ago that permits any minister to change any law by SI without any reference to Parliament? If so, then there would be no need to carry along a majority of the House.

Jul 15, 2014 at 3:22 PM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

I was going to read the full report but decided that, at 408pp (admirably summarised by Ivor Ward at 9:36am), I have better things to do. That lead me to wonder just how many MPs will actually read it; my guess is a big fat zero.

Jul 15, 2014 at 3:26 PM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

davidchappell: I'm unaware of such legislation. But the CCAct is clear enough - see section 6 here. Note subsection (5):

An order under this section is subject to affirmative order procedure.
That, as I understand it, requires a resolution of both Houses. Moreover see also section 7 and, in particular, the requirement for three months' notice. Just imagine the howls of anger from the green lobby and the pressure from the troughers during that period.

No - I fear the amendment route is not an easy solution for a realistic SoS.

Jul 15, 2014 at 4:32 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Robert Guenier / David Chappell: there has been legislation passed to that effect in the not-too-distant past; I wrote an urgent missive to my own MP, pleading for a vote against it, quoting some of the quite alarming text contained in it. Some salient points from it – basically, a government minister may create, amend or repeal any law [legislation] on his/her own without following the normal process of presentation and debate through both Houses if he/she feels that it would be “burdensome” upon Parliament. Ri-i-i-i-ight… No chance of abusing that privilege then, is there?

Unfortunately, I have had several computer crashes & exchanges since then, and have lost the key references – as government is now passing legislation like this at the rate of 4,000+ PER YEAR, and has been doing so for a few years, several prior to the present government, it will be exceedingly hard to find, but will keep looking.

Jul 15, 2014 at 5:58 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

As regards CCS, nature solved this long ago; its called plants and trees. Perhaps the people at DECC may have heard of these things, you know the things that absorb CO2 and emit Oxygen..

The only efficient and cost effective form of CCS, is to plant scrub land with new forests, or vegatation. As far as the UK is concenred there is plenty of room. The country was largely deforested in the 16th to 18th century, and it was only the advent of the industrial revolution that saved some forests.

Jul 15, 2014 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

RR & Robin Guenier: Found it; The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006. The Act is not quite as drastic in its extent as the original Bill and has some (what are probably cosmetic and disregardable) restrictions on a minister's power to amend. But essentially a minister has free rein to do whatsoever he likes.

Jul 15, 2014 at 10:17 PM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

davidchappell:

Two things: (1) that Act was, from the outset, highly controversial and, so far as I'm aware, has never been used to amend primary legislation; and (2) in any case it predates the CCAct (2008) and I cannot see how it could override the latter's specific requirement that amendment is "subject to affirmative order procedure".

Jul 16, 2014 at 6:22 AM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

As regards CCS, nature solved this long ago; its called plants and trees.

No. Mature forests do not store enough extra Carbon from the air to matter, since they rot as fast as they grow, and the amount of material put into the soil by trees is pretty small. The idea that forests sequester carbon is another example of how easy the Greens are to fool. "Carbon credits" sold for forestry is a scamster's delight.

Agriculture can store carbon, provided it is put into some permanent store and not just burnt as biomass. Say putting straw into bricks or ploughing stubble back into the ground. We mostly do that anyway.

Jul 16, 2014 at 7:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

Deben is seeking sainthood for having tried to save God's planet. If it were not for you sinners the earth would be cooler and there would be peace in the world.

Jul 18, 2014 at 9:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

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