UK coalition good for climate

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 am, May 13th, 2010 - 5 comments
Categories: climate change, Economy, uk politics - Tags: , , , ,

John Key was duly pleased when his mate David Cameron came to power this week. In congratulating the Conservative Party leader (with whom he’s said to keep in weekly contact) Key said he was confident the relationship between the two countries would go from strength to strength under his leadership.

Chris Huhne

Best he takes note then of the new UK Government’s commitment to positive, pragmatic action on climate change. The Conservative-Lib Dem coalition in the UK is actually good news in this respect. With the Lib Dem’s green-minded Chris Huhne set to pick up the energy and climate change portfolio, the new administration has already stated its intention to deliver a low carbon economy.

In a document outlining agreements already reached between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, there’s talk of the kind that makes climate campaigners weak at the knees – feed in tariffs, smart grids, no new coal-fired power stations unless they’re equipped with sufficient carbon capture and storage and meet emissions performance standards, no public money for nukes. In their own words, they’re aiming for an ‘eco-friendly economy’.

Meanwhile, support for a green investment bank will release the much needed cash to spark a revolution in innovation and clean technology, creating thousands of jobs and ensuring energy security.

Back in Godzone, we’re days out from the Budget. The big question is, will John Key heed the shift in dynamics in more progressive nations, and show similar vision? Will he take a leaf from his decidedly greener mentor? Mind you, as Bill Cosby once said: “A word to the wise ain’t necessary; it’s the stupid ones who need advice“.

5 comments on “UK coalition good for climate”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “no public money for nukes”

    Nuclear plants, or nuclear weapons? Considering nuclear plants are some of the greenest forms of electricity around, I wouldn’t say that this is a huge win.

    • jimmy 1.1

      Greenest Lanthanide? You have to be kidding. Leaving future generations to pick up the costs from waste that takes tens of thousands of years to decompose is most certianly not a green option.

  2. deemac 2

    good news? I’ll believe it when it happens…

  3. Zak Creedo 3

    luv the Cosby, Demeter 🙂

    Yet for the too stupid (to know how stoopid they are) – there’s only oblivion.. the human race challenge has never been about the dullards inheriting our earth, whereas the fertilizer redux is.. not such a bad idea..

  4. low carbon economy 4

    some energy/transport features were:

    *Continuation of the present government’s proposals for public sector investment in CCS technology for four coal-fired power stations; and a specific commitment to reduce central government carbon emissions by 10% within 12 months.

    *The establishment of an emissions performance standard that will prevent coal-fired power stations being built unless they are equipped with sufficient CCS to meet the emissions performance standard

    • The establishment of a high-speed rail network;

    • Measures to encourage marine energy

    ————
    coalition deal: full text

    11. Environment

    The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to fulfil our joint ambitions for a low carbon and eco-friendly economy, including:

    • The establishment of a smart grid and the roll-out of smart meters;

    • The full establishment of feed-in tariff systems in electricity as well as the maintenance of banded ROCs;

    • Measures to promote a huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion;

    • The creation of a green investment bank;

    The provision of home energy improvement paid for by the savings from lower energy bills;

    • Retention of energy performance certificates while scrapping HIPs;

    • Measures to encourage marine energy;

    • The establishment of an emissions performance standard that will prevent coal-fired power stations being built unless they are equipped with sufficient CCS to meet the emissions performance standard;

    • The establishment of a high-speed rail network;

    • The cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow;

    • The refusal of additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted;

    • The replacement of the air passenger duty with a per-flight duty;

    • The provision of a floor price for carbon, as well as efforts to persuade the EU to move towards full auctioning of ETS permits;

    • Measures to make the import or possession of illegal timber a criminal offence;

    • Measures to promote green spaces and wildlife corridors in order to halt the loss of habitats and restore biodiversity;

    • Mandating a national recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles;

    • Continuation of the present government’s proposals for public sector investment in CCS technology for four coal-fired power stations; and a specific commitment to reduce central government carbon emissions by 10% within 12 months.

    We are agreed that we would seek to increase the target for energy from renewable sources, subject to the advice of the climate change committee.

    Liberal Democrats have long opposed any new nuclear construction. Conservatives, by contrast, are committed to allowing the replacement of existing nuclear power stations provided they are subject to the normal planning process for major projects (under a new national planning statement) and provided also that they receive no public subsidy.

    We have agreed a process that will allow Liberal Democrats to maintain their opposition to nuclear power while permitting the government to bring forward the national planning statement for ratification by parliament so that new nuclear construction becomes possible.

    This process will involve:

    • The government completing the drafting of a national planning statement and putting it before parliament;

    • Specific agreement that a Liberal Democrat spokesman will speak against the planning statement, but that Liberal Democrat MPs will abstain; and clarity that this will not be regarded as an issue of confidence.

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