Monday, August 13, 2007

Coming clean on going green?

Well, it would seem that our esteemed government has once again shot itself through both bollo ..... errrm, feet. This from The Guardian highlights a leaked internal briefing memo in which they admit that the UK has absolutely no chance of meeting it's 'renewables' targets.

Uncle Tony signed up to the EU target of 20% of energy from 'renewables' by 2020 under a blaze of publicity and a great deal of self congratulatory crowing. Now it appears that we will be lucky to even meet 5% by 2020!

"It said that Britain had achieved 'little so far' on wind, solar or hydroelectric sources of power, and even getting to 9% from the current level of 2% would be 'challenging'. On current policies, renewables would only account for 5% of Britain's overall energy mix by 2020."

And worse, the re-badged DTI (have this lot never read Gaius Petronius?) advised "lobbying EU member states to agree that the target could be interpreted more flexibly by including investment in solar farms in north Africa, or by counting nuclear energy as 'renewable'."

And there's a section in the briefing memo that "asks ministers to examine 'what options there are for statistical interpretations of the target that would make it easier to achieve'."
Good lord! That's an instruction to feel free to make up numbers and tell lies any time you need to!

In summary, it looks now as if the target was an unachievable sham, and while the publicity made our ex-leader look good at the time, the real truth is that our current leadership team are simply looking for ways to prevaricate their way out of the mess by dissembling, skull-duggery, statistical manipulation and even downright cheating.

It's all too reminiscent of Nero fiddling while Rome burned - perhaps they could have entitled the piece - 'Coming clean on going Brown'? And of course no-one will get sacked, side-lined, punished or admonished at all, whilst still maintaining their gold plated pensions and salaries; it will all be smoothed over with more bull.

Arse covering, spin and blame deflection seem to be the only things our wonderful government are any good at all, under whatever leader!

The EC might be showing its teeth, but our lot appear to be simply passing lies through theirs!

More on this story from View London.
"Officials at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform would not comment on the document". Well, there's a surprise!

Ooooh look! We now have an official response from the PMS. See Downing Street Says.
Hmmm, they argued their way out of that one well didn't they?
Today's Guardian (14/8) has another interesting article from George Monbiot, who can always be relied upon to stir up the angst and ire of the masses. He points out, quite correctly, that back in March this year he questioned the government's 20% target. To be fair to Monbiot, he hardly crows about this at all (just an in passing 'lying bastards'), as the main thrust of his piece is the apparent contradiction that the media portrays whereby an editorial on one page exhorts us to become greener, whilst advertising alongside is for 4x4's and exotic travel holidays. Definitely well worth a read.

Addendum 2:
Well, it seems that the EC is still confident that the UK will meet its 20% emissions reduction target. See this from the International Local Government Association.
Given the chicanery and statistical manipulation that is going on I rather feel that that confidence is spectacularly misplaced!

The EC shows its teeth over vehicle CO2 emissions!

The EC industry commissioner seems to be taking a tough line with the European motor manufacturers.

The EC has been talking about limiting new vehicle CO2 emissions for what seems like years now, and is still nowhere near implementing any enforceable legislation. However, this article from Auto Industry suggests that the let out clause that all the motor manufacturers in Europe assumed that they would be able to use once legislation came in is not going to be available to them.

Essentially, most of the motor manufacturers thought that they would be able to buy their way out of their environmental responsibility for any models they produced with excessive CO2 emissions, (a type of offsetting?), but this looks like it will no longer be a future option for them.

Its rare for me to say this, but, for once, a big up to the EC. (If they carry it through!)