Uk emissions fell slightly last year, so why is Rishi Sunak trying to encourage a new generation of gas power plants?


This is a particularly odd behaviour. It is significantly cheaper to generate electricity by virtually any form of renewable electricity. We are making great progress in cutting our carbon emissions (in 2022 UK emissions fell by 3.5%, but this progress will be delayed for some time, and unable to drop as far as they need to) and these power stations will last for 20-30 years, which means that even on the low end, these power stations will be still running in 2050.

As can be seen from all of the renewable sources of electricity, their costs are declining fast. The cost of gas is already more expensive than wind, and that does not account for catching the carbon from it (which will hugely increase the cost per kilowatt hour. Likely making it more expensive even than nuclear power. 

While Rishi Sunak has suggested that we need gas to power the UK, that is rubbish. We have 25 years. Furthermore, renewables are always cheaper over their lifetime, which means that by 2050 we will already have saved money overall. I am confused as to who wins – though given Sunak has included this in the conservative manifesto, suggesting that this is in some way a political move.

We can only hope (at least on this front) that the polls do not change, and Conservatives are pushed out of power. This is thought that in 2022 14% of carbon emissions came from the gas powered power stations we have. Whether Labour will do the right thing and reverse this decision, we will find out in the future.

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.

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