Rishi Sunak is making a stupid decision – end of combustion car sales in 2030?

It was only 3 years ago that the government said from 2030 there would be no more combustion engine, yet his most recent decision rolls this back (though it should be noted that he is still aiming for 80% electric car sales by 2030) along with reducing the requirements landlords to insulate their homes so it is cheaper for their renters to heat their home.

Will this foolish back-track be undone after the next election? Will it be seen as a senseless foolish move in the future? I think that this government will struggle to claim climate responsibility in the future
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Conservative corruption in the UK? £3.5 million donations linked to pollution and climate change denial

There have been many suggestions that the scientific consensus has not been reached, when it comes to climate change, either to its existence or humans effect on it,

The one debate on climate change, before the last election in the UK, and the Conservatives skipped it
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Finale of the Brazilian election! Who will will, will the earth get a reprieve?

The worlds rainforests are concentrated in a small number of countries. As a result, there are a handful of countries where, they have the potential on their own to make climate change far worse.

What is going to happen in Brazil? Will the world get a reprieve or will Bolsonaro (right) get a second term – likely guaranteeing much of the rainforest collapse

These countries include many of those in the Congo basin in Africa, and the countries of south east Asia.

Perhaps the biggest, is Brazil: and unfortunately we have had to watch as the current president Jair Bolsonaro has done everything as badly as possible. Could it have been worse for the world? Perhaps, but it would have been hard.

What is frustrating, is that he is terrible for Brazil. He has the bizarre support of the evangelical Christians, and he has made sure that the middle class has benefitted from his time in office, never-the-less, he has destroyed much of the institutional blocks to serious damage in his first term, so may be able to do more damage in his second.

What is his worst record? 688,000 deaths from Covid, having declared what should he do and having minimized it as the little flu. This is the second most deaths in the world after the USA (largely as a result of Donald Trump minimizing the issue -see a pattern?) despite being 5th in the number of cases. The illness hit indigenous people hardest (possibly intentionally? Certainly it helps Bolsonaros many aims). For the world, though, Bolsonaro will be remembered as someone who vastly increased the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, and there is a great deal of fear that the rainforest is getting close to collapse as a result of his behaviour. Not only will this cause huge problems around the world, by releasing billions of tonnes of carbon, but it will also change rain patterns, leading to crop failures in Brazil as well as countries around.

Currently Lulu has a 4%-8% lead in the polls, however, unfortunately 4 years ago the polls underestimated Bolsonaro support so this may mean little. In a similar way to Trump, there is a certain proportion of the population who are embarrassed by their support for the leader, so are unlikely to be honest in polls.

In a debate Bolsonaro spent his time just attacking his opponent and does not seem to have any ideas for the future of the country.

In the first round, Jair Bolsonaro got 43.2% while Lula got 48.4% so he is comfortably ahead, but what happens now is still on a knife edge.

Bolsonaro is under investigation for how he and his family had enough cash to buy 51 different properties – and as he is trailing in the polls…

For those who have been reading this blog for years, you will remember that I have written repeatedly about Jair Bolsonaro.

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Apparently Democrat voters are not impressed with what Biden is doing for climate change

More than 80% of democratic voters believe that Biden has not done enough for climate change. Now it is certainly true that overall, just 15% of republicans think that Bidens plans are a good idea, while 79% of democrats approve of the direction.

What does this say? Well there are several things to bare in mind. Firstly, as Trump spent the last 4 years lying to his supporters, it is not surprising that they think that what Biden is doing is not necessary. What is perhaps more worrying, is the fact that this is roughly half the population in one of the most highly educated countries in the world – which does not believe in scientific facts, because they were lied to.

Unfortunately, Joe Manchin a democratic senator has been able to block much of the needed action. A new bill which he did support, has recently passed, which aims to cut emissions by 30% (against 1995 levels) by 2030 levels. If this happens then this is fantastic news.

Given a choice between Biden with his hands tied behind his back by Manchin, and Trump who did nothing but make it worse, any sensible person would choose Biden every time.

UK government gives go ahead for shell to develop a new gasfield

As if we need any examples of the contradictory actions of rich governments, the UK government is still giving permission for new had fields to be created.

It is known that if we are to keep warning to 1.5 degrees or less, more than 50% of fossil fuels must remain in the ground. As such this move is foolish.

The government could do as much for consumer bills by bringing back the green housing grants-and funding it properly. Many people in the country can afford to do the work themselves but many more don’t stand a chance.

In the UK the Advertising standards agency (ASA) has promised to crack down on green washing

It is disgusting, that despite the science being clear for decades now (and the urgency needed) there is still so many companies that are desperately trying to hang on to their business as normal way of life.

As the world, and customers in particularly are increasingly voting with their feet and moving if a supplier is not being green enough, a lot are continuing to push out false news to try to throw climate change into doubt.

There has been much success on this, however it has run its course. The ASA has announced a regulatory crackdown on ads which seek to mislead on climate change.

Currently, the ASA rules are loose enough to allow significant misleading claims and mistakes to be gotten away with.

Time will tell if they are successful, however it is work long overdue. Much of the incorrect ideas on climate change have been placed in peoples minds on purpose.

Past examples include oil companies bigging up tiny parts of their business in adverts (and failing to mention the vast emissions from the 99% or more of their core business, along with companies like Volkswagen who cheated on emission standards allowing them to get away with far more emissions than they admitted to. Others include Coke who had a big campaign about waste plastic in the oceans – failing to admit that most of this plastic was their fault.

We will have to watch this carefully. Thankfully, in this day and age, there are many different people watching to keep account of what is going on. We must not avert our eyes.

Montana has moved to limit wolf hunts after more than intended, but commissioners won’t reinstate quota ended by Republicans

The rules about hunting around Yellowstone, are like elsewhere quite absurd. When the animals roam across an arbitrary line, they can be shot. One side is fully protected land, the other side open season.

Now it is encouraging that the wolf hunt has ended early. The commission vote (passed unanimously) made a rule that hunting and trapping would end when 82 animals had been killed (76 had died at the time).

Montana wolf

23 wolves from park packs have been killed this year – more than in any season since wolves were reintroduced 25 years ago.

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Back in August it was revealed that department for business energy and industrial strategy – responsible for climate remit, had taken 619 domestic flights in the previous 2 years

We have an extensive train network. We also have an extensive motorway network. With all the check in and the traveling to and from airports which are usually some distance outside cities, many domestic flights take longer than their train or car equivalent.

More importantly, these other methods have a fraction of the carbon footprint. This was also after signing a net zero emissions target. Importantly, this does not include travel to Northern Ireland as this is more easy to justify.

34 of these flights were by the minister themselves.

This only came to light through a freedom of information request from the shadow minister for green transport.

In the 6 months after the 2050 net zero target was signed into law the department took 395 domestic flights.

These all happened in the run up to us hosting a conference on cutting emissions.

We can only hope that now the COP26 has happened, the government starts to practice what it preaches.

Was Bulb as clean as it claimed? how can we tell?

In the UK (and I am sure in plenty of other countries) as the grid has cleaned, there have been a whole host of firms that have sprung up as a middleman – buying green electricity and providing it to their customers. There is nothing particularly unusual about this – we get our electricity from Octopus on a similar scheme. With many of these firms, they supply the electricity and gas, but often have few holdings themselves.

Octopus is busily investing in all sorts of green electricity generators, but the problem exists that if you do not own any of the electricity generation, then in tough times this can be your undoing.

Now, many of these claim to be fully green, but are not necessarily. The reputable ones match each unit used to a unit of renewable generation that went into the grid (Ofgems renewable energy guarantee of origin REGO). Alongside this, the reputable ones also invest in renewable generation.

So was Bulb as green as it suggested? Well the complaint came from the fact that only 5% of its power came directly from renewable energy projects, the rest was bought on the open markets through the aforementioned REGO. The point is, the electricity grid does not consist of electricity traveling like emails to specific places – it is supplied everywhere jointly by all the producers. This means that provided a supplier is paying for enough green electricity to cover all its customers uses (and has the REGO certificates to prove it) by definition, it is fully green.

Would it be better if the company had some green generation of its own? probably, but provided the scheme works it does not have to. It allows green electrical generation to be used as it is created – by who ever needs it, exactly as our grid is designed.

This problem has arisen because the government allows green electricity and the certificate of it being green to separate people. However, provided the certificates only cover the amount of green electricity that is being created, it is not counted twice it is merely worth more to the creator.

What is wrong with this? If creators of green energy are aware that they can make more money than those burning gas, many will switch. This still does what is needed, and provided green electricity certification is accurate it wont be double counted.

Possibly, the last nail bulbs coffin, was caused by the government setting out plans to make this loophole smaller. These so called pale green energy tariffs – where green energy was not bought directly from a renewable energy project are supposed to be eliminated.

I think the British government needs to be careful here. It is quite possible that in the near future, these providers will not be necessary as all the electricity in the grid will be green. However, for the time being it is worth continuing to offer this premium to green electricity creators and the ability for suppliers to make sure they have covered their promises.

Now in the case of Octopus they are also replanting and rejuvenating a section of the Amazon rainforest to offset any gas emissions. It is currently unfortunately true that it is far cheaper to heat using gas – heat pumps are likely to greatly change this, as they are 300% or greater efficient (in terms of electricity in, and heat out) however for now gas is used. A reforestation scheme can be guaranteed to suck up the carbon it is promised to capture.

Our guaranteed green electricity and offset gas monthly cost is roughly £5 more than the best price on the market, and for us £60 a year to know that our electricity and gas use is not increasing the problems of global warming. Having said that, we are still trying to reduce our use through: Smart devices, added insulation and when we get them installed – solar panels and thermal solar panels. The other advantage with a scheme like this, is it guarantees you a price for you exported electricity – so if you have solar, and are currently not being paid for anything that you export perhaps now is the time to switch. This essentially means that you can use Octopus as a battery.

If you are interested in transferring to this or another Octopus scheme please click on the link. This will give you a £50 credit on your account, as well as on ours – thereby supporting the site, without costing you a penny

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