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DECC prioritises prices over carbon

Amber Rudd is currently explaining DECC's priorities under the new regime. It's pretty snoozeworthy, and the members of the committee are not exactly excelling themselves in asking probing questions, but a few points of interest are coming out:

  • hints of an emphasis on value for money ahead of decarbonisation
  • a suggestion that Paris will be a damp squib, with 2degrees being unachievable but should be kept within reach.

Video below.

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Reader Comments (31)

Bish, I'm not seeing the 'video below'

Jul 21, 2015 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

Darn, I was too quick off the mark.

Jul 21, 2015 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

It's coming up an odd shape for me. Don't know why.

Jul 21, 2015 at 12:07 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

'It's coming up an odd shape for me. Don't know why.'


That happens with more frequency as one gets older, your Grace.

Jul 21, 2015 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

I presume King Canute is still "unavailable for comment" on the 2C belief-drama?

Jul 21, 2015 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterHenry Galt

It's clear Osborne is calling the financial shots on 'decarbonisation' now. Post-Lib Dem coalition there's plainly been an unmistakeable shift in government action. He'll say the 'right' things and allow just enough 'low carbon' stuff to prevent a full-on Green hissy-fit, but there's definitely been a change in the green wind.

Jul 21, 2015 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

Waited several minites and still no video.

Jul 21, 2015 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Does the blank screen cover all proof of climate science?

Jul 21, 2015 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

There is a long pause for the vid to start but Firefox and Chrome are now blocking some softwere deliberately because they have backdoors that the manufacturers can't close.

There is clearly been a change in policy. In the dangerous game of energy capacity pass the parcel, the Conservatives now realise that they've got sole responsibility for the next few years and while they can share blame for not acting on CO2, if the lights go out, they will find it hard to avoid public anger.

Jul 21, 2015 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Security of supply..throw that over the wall to Nat Grid. Fails right there.

This is an island and very dependant on imports of all types. Thats the way its been configured and realise the ongoing Calais impact! Vaz and his gang have visited a few times and still SFA happens.

So everything falls at the start of her yadder.

Cant' be bothered with it.

Jul 21, 2015 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

"Security of supply..throw that over the wall to Nat Grid. Fails right there." Ex-expat Colin

I'm sure that this is the argument the government would use in the event of supply problems and to a certain extent she's right. If the National Grid doesn't put some pretty clear messages out about what it needs then a government minister can be forgiven for not reacting. If they say 'we can cope' how can she do anything but believe them? If on the other hand they have sent repeated warnings that we are going to run short (and STOR may be the result of earlier warnings) then ministers are liable. In reality they'd be liable anyway (in so much as minsters ever take responsibility).

She threw out the point that we had 6% spare last winter that we didn't use but didn't qualify that with the fact that last winter was broadly mild and windy. Not much pressure on the gas and the wind was there whether they needed it or not. This winter the spare will be 5% and it may be a very different winter.

Jul 21, 2015 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


I agree, but that agreement/arrangement is not what we seek. They'll penalise us on their failure by a fine that we will have to pay, cos thats the way the do it. No good when brown/black outs occur and I have experienced it along with the oil embargo's/miners strikes.

They cannot get the EU right, nor Calais and illegal immigrants. So anything they (gov) state is useless as far as I am concerned.

Jul 21, 2015 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

But in South East England, including London, spare capacity is made up with French Nuclear. Once aggravated French strikers light a pile of burning tyres on the extension lead running across the Channel, the cry of "Vivre la difference", will mean those with lights on, and those with lights off.

Jul 21, 2015 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"Netherlands and France to cash in on UK winter electricity supply" according to Ofgem:

Interesting site, it has a database of off-shore windfarms around the world, phenomenal money gone into all this:

Re Paris: James Hansen Rides Again:

But then again it might not...

"At the time of the last glacial maximum, some 18 000 years ago, the abstraction of water from the oceans to build the great land-based ice caps reduced global sea level to some 120–140 m below that of the present day.

10,000 years before present (BP), sea level was some 40 m below present, and as it continued to rise (the Holocene marine transgression) was within 10 m of its present stand at about 5000 years ago, and close to present level by 4000 years BP."

Not much happened since then

Also interesting is this article from 1999, when the BBC had a science correspondent worthy of the name:
BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse,

"Using a new computer simulation of the Earth's climate, German scientists say that the Sahara underwent a brutal climate change about 4,000 years ago.

Over a very short time scale - possibly as short as 300 years - it went from grasslands with low shrubs to the desert we are familiar with today. Summer temperatures increased rapidly and rainfall almost ceased. The change devastated many ancient cultures and caused those that did survive to migrate elsewhere.

Scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research say that the desertification of the Sahara was one of the most dramatic changes in climate over the past 11,000 years.

The climate model suggests that land use by man was not an important factor in the creation of the Sahara."

It must have been chariot engine emissions.....

Jul 21, 2015 at 3:01 PM | Registered Commenterdennisa

Good news: DECC's Permanent Secretary has a 1st Class degree!

Bad news : It's in English :-(

Judging on my chums who got similar degrees, important things like thermodynamics will be completely alien to him. But he probably read the Faerie Queen and believes the fairy stories that the Green Blob tell him.

Jul 21, 2015 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Latimer Alder: "he probably read the Faerie Queen and believes the fairy stories that the Green Blob tell him."

"In 1995, he joined Deutsche Morgan Grenfell (subsequently Deutsche Bank), where he remained until 2004 and became head of the European media team."

As a former Deutsche Bank man, he probably wrote some of the stories!

Jul 21, 2015 at 3:32 PM | Registered Commenterdennisa

Yes Amber ... of course they are ... entirely without as in zip, nada, rien, nuffin etc...

Rather unlikely she means it to be taken literally.

Jul 21, 2015 at 3:45 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Complacency about Paris terrifies me.
We've seen the harm the believers can wreak with nothing more than motherhood statements. The 'precautionary principle' is an example.
They come away crying "defeat" after extorting millions more of other people's money to be spent on their causes, on the ground they didn't get trillions.
Encourage your rep to say "No", to say "Hell no!", and not to compromise on any weasel-worded consensus statement either.

Jul 21, 2015 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeo Morgan

@Tomo: I wonder what "a safe and robust regulatory regime is in place", really means! Does it mean it is so regulated as to be completely unviable or made too expensive through taxation &/or additional charges added to our bills? It really is Yes Minister stuff, the last person you put in charge of the DECC is anyone who knows anything about it!

Jul 21, 2015 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

11:43 "We've got Sir Paul Nurse doing a review of ...." energy storage technology ...
He's qualified how?

Jul 21, 2015 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterrotationalfinestructure

For once I agree with the UK Government. Agreement in Paris is unlikely but 2℃ is desirable, even necessary. Unfortunately with the Sun cooling, 2℃ is never going to be within reach until long after the current lot of ***** are gone and forgotten.

Jul 21, 2015 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

Bars and 1k tone. I love it.
I am surprised they are still using the old analogue techniques. The aspect is still 16x9 so I think the y resolution is guffed ;)

Jul 21, 2015 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustin Ert
Jul 22, 2015 at 7:39 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Amber Rudd was on the Today programme this morning at about 7.40, talking about cutting solar subsidies. See Phillip's links for details.

Jul 22, 2015 at 8:40 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

2C is unachievable?

Probably the only thing we can agree with them on.

Such a large increase is unlikely for a very long time.

Wait - that isn't what they meant? What did they mean then?

Jul 22, 2015 at 8:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin

Andrew Duffin, Jul 22, 2015 at 8:58 AM Andrew Duffin


Jul 22, 2015 at 9:13 AM | Registered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

The recent (18 years) substantial increase in human CO2 output accompanied flat global temperatures is pretty conclusive evidence that human beings do not cause global warming.

Jul 22, 2015 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff


Thanks. Excellent post.

The idea of human created warming was promoted by James Hansen, a man who was denounced by his former boss at NASA but protected by two of the most suspect characters in American politics, Al Gore and George Soros. Here is some information about Hansen's dangerously reactionary views.

James Hansen, the world's most famous climate scientist recently endorsed an extreme eco fascist book by Keith Farnish calling for the destruction of industrial civilisation starting with acts of terrorism.
Farnish writes

The only way to prevent global ecological collapse and thus ensure the survival of humanity is to rid the world of Industrial Civilization

Unloading essentially means the removal of an existing burden: for instance, removing grazing domesticated animals, razing cities to the ground, blowing up dams and switching off the greenhouse gas emissions machine. The process of ecological unloading is an accumulation of many of the things I have already explained in this chapter, along with an (almost certainly necessary) element of sabotage.

Hansen's endorsement

Keith Farnish has it right: time has practically run out, and the 'system' is the problem. Governments are under the thumb of fossil fuel special interests - they will not look after our and the planet's well-being until we force them to do so, and that is going to require enormous effort. --Professor James Hansen, GISS, NASA

Jul 22, 2015 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Oh dear, oh dear - 'Jobs will be lost' when the government pulls the plug on snall-scale solar....

Yep - that's the way the cookie crumbles. You throw your lot in with an industry dependent on government subsidies, and sooner or later the fertiliser hits the fan, and the government realises that its backing a loser..

'Its an industry' - so is prostitution, but that doesn't mean it has to supported with goverment subsidies...!

Much more worrying for the governemt, I submit, is the wafer-thin 'theoretical' margin of reserve in our generating capacity - because when the lights (and EVERYTHING else) go out, it will be the government that'll get the blame, despite their best efforts to blame National Grid and the energy companies...

Way back when I was a Boy Engineer employed by the CEGB, despite there being at that time some 25% spare capacity, when major plant was out of action in the summer being mended, a chilly day in August almost caused power cuts..!

1.2% is a joke...

Jul 22, 2015 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Avoiding 2 degrees is easily achievable, just business as usual will do the trick.

Jul 22, 2015 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

You humans don't control the climate. I do

kind regards

H2O the miracle molecule

Jul 23, 2015 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterH2O: the miracle molecule

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