The UN Environment Programme published its Emission Gap Report on 3rd November (http://web.unep.org/emissionsgap/) this clearly shows that not enough is being done to reduce CO2 emissions in order to limit global temperature rises to the 2°C maximum safe limit, and certainly will not achieve the 1.5°C limit that we really need to achieve.
There is therefore a clear need for all countries, including the UK, to do more than so far committed in order to keep the world safe for our children and future generations.
The government has made a number of decisions that will make meeting the targets even harder, including:
- The new runway at Heathrow which will allow a significant increase in flights and hence CO2 emissions.
- HS2 as high speed trains use considerably more energy to transport the same number of people as slightly slower trains.
- The effective prevention of land-based wind turbines – which is currently the cheapest way to produce electricity.
- Ending of subsidies to solar photovoltaic (PV) generation too early, whilst this would have reasonable in a year or two as prices fell we have seen a massive reduction in installation of domestic PV generation, and loss of capacity to install PV as a result.
- Licensing of fracking, which is simply another form of fossil energy that will produce both CO2 and methane both of which are greenhouse gases (besides the issues of industrialisation of the countryside and pollution of water supplies).
We are also realising a considerable part of our CO2 reduction by exporting the CO2 production, for instance by closing our steel industry. This does not actually reduce the amount of CO2 produced, simply moves it elsewhere; in some cases, to places where less efficient processes may be being used resulting in even higher CO2.
I am therefore writing to you to press the government to work harder to reduce global warming in the following ways:
- Press the Prime minister and transport minister to cancel airport expansion as this is not compatible with even meeting our current emission targets.
- Press the Prime minister, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy transport minister and Chancellor of the exchequer to cancel HS2 as unnecessary and polluting.
- Press the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to change planning regulations to make it easier to install wind turbines
- Press the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to ban fracking as incompatible with meeting our global warming targets and a danger to health and industrialisation of the countryside.
I would also be interested in your opinion on each of these and their importance in meeting our obligations to the future of the planet as a habitable place.
4 Frazer Court