Anyone for decarbonisation?

 

 On Tuesday evening I had dinner with representatives of the Engineering industry. The Chairman of the EEF made an impassioned speech about the damage dear energy prices are doing to UK  industr. He explained just how high the energy bill of a UK steel producer is compared to the bills of equivalent producers in the USA.  He told us that there are periods of some winter days when penalty tariffs come in, making it necessary to close a plant. I agree with him that this is a big problem for the Uk , given its sensible wish to create more industrial activity here.

The EU thinks it knows what you like – dear energy.  Their latest plans for new carbon dioxide targets entail cutting CO2 emissions by 60% compared to 1990 by 2030. 27% of the electricity must be generated from renewables as part of their preferred method of hmitting this new target.

It is true that this time they are not imposing individual targets on individual states, unlike our current demanding targets. However, I assume we must take these new targets seriously. They mean a further substantial rise in EU energy prices.

I assume the EU expects success partly because this policy must cause substantial furtehr de industrialisation in the EU. Given the much higher energy prices this implies compared to the USA’s cheap gas or China’s coal, they must be factoring in a furtehr large transfer of industrial activity outside the EU.

 

It would have been better if their new targets had been CO2 emissions needed to produce what we consume, rather than the CO2 taken for what we produce. Importing energy intensive products will not help the overall world csamapign againstg CO2, though it will leave us poorer and the parts of the world making things richer.

 

Let us hope the UK can get on with its own shale revolution, and discover enough cheaper gas to give us a chance. The US is both  cutting its CO2 and providing plenty of cheaper power for an industrial revival. We need to follow that example. One of the ironies on Tuesday night was to hear businesses who rightly complain about the cost of UK energy at the same time defend our current memebrship of the EU, without apparently understanding the importance of EU decisiosn to the UK’s dear energy.

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109 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    You are quite right but the leader you voted for, vote blue get green crap and kill jobs (and OAPs) Cameron loves all this LibDem religion, big government & the EU that is how he threw the last sitting duck election.

    Self inflicted industrial suicide by Government decree is the Davey/Cable agenda. This both across the UK and so much of the EU. Why otherwise would Cameron employ the deluded “believer” Ed Davey. Yet as you say not even any net saving on World C02 output anyway from this insanity.

    Not that this seems to matter much as the Catastrophic runaway AGW religion is now so discredited. Anyway a littler warmer is actually a net benefit on balance. No warming for the last 16 years anyway. How many more years are needed before they revise their invented computer soothsayers and religion 20 or 30?

    Indeed there is more likely to be a net increase in World CO2 with more transportation needed and rather less efficiency through this barmy policy.

    You have to change Cameron’s “BBC think” broken compass or give him a full brain/gene transplant. This on over priced energy, the EU, OTT regulation, restrictive planning, the fake equality religion, employment laws, wind, PV and daft train subsidies and “investment”, on the lefty BBC propaganda unit, on a Greater Switzerland on Sea, on the absurd size of the largely parasitic sector, on excessive taxes everywhere, on gender neutral insurance and pensions, on controlled selective immigration, on the Ed Davey religion ……………..

    We are governed by dim donkeys. With the certain prospect of an even worse donkey, ridden by the state sector unions to follow in 14 months.

    Cameron had an open goal in 2010 to be far better for the country than Lady Thatcher for 3+ terms but he just threw it all away with his silly lefty agenda. He is just wrong on all the main issues.

    Too late now alas.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      Good to see how quickly a bit of fairly cheap engineering will manage to re-open the rail line at Dawlish. Just a shame they did not do it before the entirely predictable event.

      A bit of dredging here, a pump or two there, some sensible sea defences there and some fracking here. This is what is needed and far, far cheaper than Cameron/Davey’s ineffective nonsense religion.

      • alan jutson
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic

        Agreed, but its a shame we do not have the same number of practical sensible engineers around that we had 50 years ago, to help with all of these solutions.
        Instead we seem to have committees full of non practical people, accountants and health a safety paperwork experts controlling the thinking process.

        Visited Hendon RAF museum on Monday of this week, what an uplifting experience, viewing all of the exhibits, and being able to see what we used to be able to design and build in weeks and months, simply because we had to, rather than it taking decades as it does now.

        The last time I was at RAF Hendon prior to last Monday was in 1969 when I was an apprentice and part of the crew testing the performance of an Airfield crash tender which our Company had just finished building.

        What would Barnes Wallace have done in todays world ?

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          Alan–Don’t forget the wildlife experts in the committees–they help a lot too

        • bigneil
          Posted March 6, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Unfortunately Barnes would be paying the fine for littering. The ticket given to him by a council “jobsworth” in a fluorescent jacket and peaked cap. “Can’t have people dropping bombs all over the place. That’s a £50 fine -halved if you pay in less than 7 days”.

        • arschloch
          Posted March 6, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

          He would have a PPE degree

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          He surely would have left.

          Endless lawyers, bureaucrats, tax and fine leviers, fake experts, compliance, health and safety parasites, green loons, government officials, planners, bat experts, contamination experts and almost no one doing anything of use.

          • stred
            Posted March 7, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

            I hear we need a bat survey costing £400 even for a house extension these days. Also, if bats are found in the attic you have to leave holes to let them in. Apparently, bat poo is harmless. However, it is legal to murder small furry wingless mammals living in the house.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 6, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Don’t forget all the no-win-no-fee lawyers, Alan.

          Most of your ‘elf ‘n’ safety bods are employed to avoid legal claims against councils and companies .

          Too many lawyers.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

            Indeed and too many tax planners and absurdly artificial tax structures to avoid the far too high tax rates.

          • APL
            Posted March 7, 2014 at 7:48 am | Permalink

            Anon: “Too many lawyers.”

            Too many politicians.

        • Barbara1
          Posted March 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          ‘ … what we used to be able to design and build in weeks and months, simply because we had to, rather than it taking decades as it does now.’

          Indeed – it often seems that there are more people employed these days trying to stop people doing things than trying to make them happen.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 8, 2014 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            “more people employed these days trying to stop people doing things”

            Indeed and paid 50% more than the private sector on average just to inconvenience the productive.

      • Hope
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        They did see it but thought the survey for birds was more important to complete before any works took place. the EA were quite clear on this. I hope the same idiocy will be used to stop the building of the HS2 line. The ASA is also another place to find absurd outcomes in its quest for its bias to change our culture. Why has Cameron not got rid of the Labour looney tunes in quangos or had the bonfire he promised us to save us money and could be used to cut our taxes? Has the EA or ASA improved any of our lives? I suggest not.

        • stred
          Posted March 6, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          The ASA allows adverts for electric cars to claim zero emissions, ignoring the 580 grams CO2/kWh to produce the home charging and the fact that the battery only lasts for 40 miles and average consumption is then by carbon fuel for a large part of the journey, giving around 70mpg average. Even the same car assessed by US standards is allowed to advertise consumption figures of less than a third, as calculated by EU tests.

          And yet, they refused a multifoil insulation manufacturer to advertise performance as verified by a British lab, because of minor differences between imperial and metric sizes.

      • John E
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        I saw another piece of remedial work where they have had to build a quarter mile road across flooded fields just to access the track. The Engineer in charge said normally they would spend two years planning a job like that – instead they are doing it in about eight weeks. Everyone is working flat out but they looked like they were having a bit more fun than usual.
        I’m all for having a plan but it does make me wonder how the people who like getting things done put up with the usual bureaucracy.

      • behindthefrogs
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        One of the big worries is that they are proposing a barrier for the river parret at Bridgwater without any consideration of energy generation. This requirement presents an ideal opportunity for a tidal barrier like the proposed Swansea barrier. Once the flood defence costs are separated such a barrier would be a very cost effective tidal generator.

        • stred
          Posted March 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          Also, are they having to allow for taking away and treating dredged material as waste and paying very expensive landfill tax. Some people are saying that dredged silt is exempt from this tax under EU rules and it could be spread on fields, as was traditionally done without damage to the environment. Someone in government should make clear whether we have to pay EU taxes for dredging or not.

        • Mark
          Posted March 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          No, it wouldn’t be cost effective. Typical flows would be rather low. Tidal schemes are offered £305/MWh – nearly twice as much as heavily subsidised offshore wind, and siz times as much as conventional power. Be sure that is someone thought they could make money at that price, the EA would have been happy to work it in with further flooding of the Somerset Levels.

    • uanime5
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Not that this seems to matter much as the Catastrophic runaway AGW religion is now so discredited.

      Discredited by who? It can’t be scientists as they’re the ones who have shown repeatedly that global warming is man made.

      Anyway a littler warmer is actually a net benefit on balance.

      Not if you live in Africa, where warmer means more droughts and famines.

      No warming for the last 16 years anyway.

      Not according to all the global temperature measurements which have shown a slight rise in the average global temperature.

      How many more years are needed before they revise their invented computer soothsayers and religion 20 or 30?

      I take it you’re referring to the deniers as they’re the ones who don’t have any evidence to support their claims.

      • Hope
        Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        Alas, once more, drivel without fact. The ice age was created by man made C02 emmissions as well was it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          No dinosaur farts I think if must have been. Or was it perhaps an asteroid impact? I assume the AGW “experts” have knowledge of all these impacts and volcanoes for the next 100 years clearly, they must have for their projections to make any sense whatsoever.

          What do you mean they don’t have them!

      • Edward2
        Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        It is you who is in denial Uni
        Have a look at the graphs on temperature levels shown on the Met Office web site.
        They show no rises post 2000.
        The data comes from hadcrut4 and is peer reviewed.

      • Sebastian Weetabix
        Posted March 7, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        As a German speaker I have to say your moniker is well chosen. Even the climate scientists are trying to explain away the pause. The computer models that predict catastrophic global warming due to positive feedbacks in the upper atmosphere have been falsified, as anyone who understands higher mathematics or graduate level science can see.

        A beautiful hypothesis has been murdered by a gang of ugly facts called temperature observations. Even the IPCC’s AR5 report suggests the climate’s sensitivity to CO2 is at the lower end of the scale. The real deniers are left-wingers like you who would like to persevere with higher energy prices, a wicked exercise which leads to poverty and premature death for the elderly and infirm, to no beneficial effect. The Greens are simply a retread of the Malthusian movement.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 8, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          Exactly.

      • Mark
        Posted March 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Read this week’s Economist, which admits we now have twice as much “explanation” from climate scientists as needed to explain the plateau in temperatures we have seen. So the explanations of climate scientists can’t all be right, making the models even more wrong to boot.

  2. Brian Taylor
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Would you and all the readers of this Blog go to Wattsupwiththat Blog and look at a new report suggesting that Climate is NOT as sensitive to CO2 as all the models suggest!!!

    We are wasting billions of pounds resulting in lost jobs.

    In the light of all this how does Germany get away with building 24 coal fired power stations?

    • forthurst
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      “Would you and all the readers of this Blog go to Wattsupwiththat Blog and look at a new report suggesting that Climate is NOT as sensitive to CO2 as all the models suggest!!!”

      There never has been any evidence that CO2 was materially linked to climate change; all that happened was some ‘scientists’ with special needs, noticed both a recently increasing temperature trend and an increasing CO2 trend and without any evidence whatsoever to link the two, created ‘climate’ models which extrapolated both trends as being interdependent. Now that the models are not ‘working’, we are informed that that is because all the ‘extra’ heat is being sequestered by the oceans: bs.

      However, what is absolutely certain is that various pressure groups, some seeking wealth, others control over our lives and the destruction of our continent economically, have pushed this nonsense politically, to the great detriment of Europe and to the great advantage of Asia.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        forthurst–Correlation is not causation; or as they used to say, Post hoc (non) ergo propter hoc.

      • uanime5
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

        There never has been any evidence that CO2 was materially linked to climate change

        What about all the evidence in the 5 IPCC reports?

        all that happened was some ‘scientists’ with special needs, noticed both a recently increasing temperature trend and an increasing CO2 trend and without any evidence whatsoever to link the two, created ‘climate’ models which extrapolated both trends as being interdependent.

        What about the scientific evidence that shows that CO2 levels in the atmosphere affect how much heat is retained? That’s clear evidence that increasing temperatures and increasing CO2 levels are interdependent.

        we are informed that that is because all the ‘extra’ heat is being sequestered by the oceans

        Care to explain why the average sea temperatures have continued to increase.

        However, what is absolutely certain is that various pressure groups, some seeking wealth, others control over our lives and the destruction of our continent economically, have pushed this nonsense politically

        The fact that you couldn’t name any of these groups indicates that your conspiracy theory isn’t based on any evidence.

        to the great detriment of Europe and to the great advantage of Asia.

        All that smog in China because of their coal power plants isn’t benefiting them.

        • Hope
          Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

          IPPC reports change at the request of politicians! How factual is that! People with self interest. Good grief, wake up.

        • forthurst
          Posted March 7, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          uanime5 rises to the bait; what a surpise!

          A computer model is not evidence of anything, especially if it’s predictive capacity is nil. If the IPCC wish to be taken seriously, they need to demonstrate what additional effect CO2 has on climate when combined with those far greater determinants of climate, solar activity and oceanic currents. Producing graphs with CO2 on one axis and global temperature on the other is not scientific.

          It is certainly true that there has been a very gradual warming trend in the oceans, as of the land over the last 50 years, but that once again, is not evidence, per se, of the effect of CO2; the most likely hypothesis is that we had been warming since the Little Ice Age, global temperatures have now plateaued (despite the upward trend in CO2), and we are now in a cooling trend driven by far more powerful solar forces than CO2, after failing to achieve the temperatures experienced during the Mediaeval Warm Period.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Well they introduced all sorts of largely invented or exaggerated positive feed back mechanisms to scare people and the BBC into thinking a catastrophe was on the way. If you want funding from government that is what you do.

      Clearly after 16 years of no warming despite the co2 increase they look a bit stupid.

      Interesting to see what a Greenpeace founder now says.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2569215/Humans-not-blame-global-warming-says-Greenpeace-founder-Patrick-Moore.html

    • uanime5
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Would you and all the readers of this Blog go to Wattsupwiththat Blog and look at a new report suggesting that Climate is NOT as sensitive to CO2 as all the models suggest!!!

      Why would anyone read a blog written by people who have no scientific qualifications? Wouldn’t it be better to read articles in respectable scientific journals such as New Scientist?

      In the light of all this how does Germany get away with building 24 coal fired power stations?

      They’ve already exceeded their CO2 targets.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        The paper concluding that the climate sensitivity of carbon has been over-stated was published by 2 scientists, both of them expert reviewers of the IPCC report. The evidence of the last 2 decades supports this conclusion.

      • Hope
        Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Well that is okay then. How about China and India have they met theirs?

      • Sebastian Weetabix
        Posted March 7, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Anthony Watts is a meteorologist so he perhaps knows something of weather and climate.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    “One of the ironies on Tuesday night was to hear businesses who rightly complain about the cost of UK energy at the same time defend our current membership of the EU”

    Indeed and yet only five members of the House of Commons voted against the absurd, job destroying, climate change act. The five were Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Peter Lilley, Andrew Tyrie, and Ann Widdecombe according to WIKI and a few abstentions. Why such collective religion, group think, insanity from most of the rest of the house – can they not do simple sums?

    • Richard1
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      This is because of the very shrill evangelising on global warming theory by climate scientists, who gave politicians an erroneous impression of the accuracy of their models, and due to global warming theory and green policies being immensely attractive to left wing politicians.

      One such evangelizing scientist was and is Lord Robert May, formerly chief scientific adviser to the govt, himself in fact a zoologist. I heard a speech by Lord May 2 nights ago, this time on the financial crisis which he is now interested in. Whilst he reached 2 sensible conclusions (mathematical models of financial markets offer only pseudo rigour and a big problem was and is leverage in the banking system), much of the rest of what he said was conventional left leaning group think, unrelated to facts or data. Since he isn’t an economist he can be excused gaps in knowledge, but it was remarkable that he presented graphs and charts he couldn’t explain and got confused over some basic data. He had a good go at northern rock but blamed it all on the chairmanship of Matt Ridley, whom he described as a ‘climate change denier’!

      The point of this digression is that we have been asked to rely on green issues on the pronouncements of senior scientists such as Lord May. But if he is as badly informed about climate science as he is about financial economics then there is no reason to do so.

      • lifelogic
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Agreed.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Matt Ridley seems rather sound to me on most issues particulary in his book “The Rational Optimist”. If people cannot predict the weather a week on Wednesday or the lack of warming for the past 16 years and many (of their belief system had clearly blatantly fiddled the figures) then would you trust them to predict Catastrophic Global Warming in 100 years time? Would you trust anyone in the pay of government to say anything true.

        Or would you be a denier that it was proven?

        • Richard1
          Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

          Yes I think Matt Ridley writes very well. He was however not competent to be chairman of a bank and must take his share of blame along with other directors (and in particular the management) for the disaster at that bank.

          Matt Ridley is a science writer and is very informative and good at that, that’s what he now sticks to. Lord May is a zoologist, no doubt a very distinguished one. Based on the talk I heard by him on economics, Lord May should also stick to what he knows about – zoology.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 8, 2014 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

            He was rather unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time in Northern Rock but he is sound in general.

      • Alistair
        Posted March 11, 2014 at 3:00 am | Permalink

        Yup, that certainly chimes.

        I’ve also met Lord May a couple of times. Nice enough chap on one level. But not that bright or at all knowledgable beyond his field. He certainly had no economics worthy of the name.

        I’d say he was a fairly typical government “scientist”, competent in their narrow field but selected mostly by political and bureaucratic factors than genuine intelligence and education.

    • Hope
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      I think it is about time DECC imposed a regulation on farmers to stop cows farting! It will undoubtedly be claimed it will save the world and Davey will aggressively claim cows are climate deniers!

      Perhaps DECC and the EA should combine their efforts and put farmers out of business by deliberately flooding the land, the EU project is worth it. A bit like giving up our fishing grounds, it is only food and jobs.

      Better still Osborne could tax farmers for cow CO2 emmissions and a quisling underling could pass the blame to voters for eating diary products and meat. After all this fits in with the migration minister blaming the public for immigration! The Tory party is a lost cause, Mr Gove please use your influence to stop PPE courses at Oxbridgew e cannot afford the stupidity it creates, no point asking Commisar Cable after for years no one knows what he has actually achieved or done for the country.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Just remind us who signed us up to the EU and its successive Treaties, directives and unelected dictatorship? The LibLabCon legacy parties. So they are part of the problem NOT the solution?
        I read this week that based on China’s GDP and trade with the EU that 30 million jobs are at risk if that trade stopped. Most importantly they are not in the EU, not going to be in the EU and do not have to follow its ridiculous and costly rules, directives and climate change religion that all the leaders of the legacy parties believe in! Most Countries on the planet are not in the EU and they get by without a voice at the shrinking “top table”.
        Its time for a clean sweep of Westminster and its follies.

      • oldtimer
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        I assume that you speak in jest. But it is worth recalling that, back in the days of the Blair government, the Cabinet Office did indeed produce a report on the scale and consequences of bovine flatulence and what might be done about it. More recently it was reported that Mr Davey and DECC had gifted some £20 million of money we do not have to Bolivian cattle farmers to study the effect of flatulence caused by their herds. Quite what this was supposed to achieve (apart no doubt from a nice jolly to South America for the officials concerned) is unclear. You just could not make this stuff up.

        Tax payer funded jollies in the cause of climate change has featured in the budgets of more government departments than just DECC. The Met Office has clocked up a few as well. Perhaps our host can pose a question to discover how much?

    • stred
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      The HOC debate about energy prices last week, in which JR asked T.Yeo about cutting the self imposed carbon tax and was told that wind was economical, gave an insight into the ability of MPs to understand the situation. Two Scottish experts, Robertson and Weir spoke in their charming accents for the maximum time about the wonderful performance of offshore wind and wave generation. They thought the energy firms were the cause of all the increased costs. When JR asked him whether he understood that it was the change to low carbon ( like coal at under £40 to biomass and wind with a strike price 3 times 40) that was causing the increase, -well- he obviously didn’t.

      Sarah Newton was pleased that the high strike price for wave energy had encouraged firms to come to her constituency to develop generators. She should read the DECC Chief Scientific Advisor’s book, where he has estimated the wave energy of the whole country and concluded that it could only ever produce a tiny proportion and is expensive.

      Then Andrew Percy said that “there was a massive black cloud over Eggborough” power station in his constituency, meaning that, although it was “shovel ready” to be converted for wood pellets, it is to be closed- perhaps not the best phrase to use. Michael Fallon seemed a bit frustrated that he had already explained why to him. Perhaps we can’t get enough tree cuttings or it is turning out far more expensive than they thought.?Who knows? However Mr Percy did give a figure of a £38 price rise nationally for the consumer from this one coal plant when it closes.

      The only MP with a grasp on figures, apart from JR, seemed to be Alan Whitehead, who explained that the way that subsidies and prices were allocated and reported made it impossible for anyone to compare like with like and make any informed decisions.

      It really should be compulsary for MPs to read up on the subject and pass some sort of basic test before they are allowed to comment. They could start by reading Sustainable Energy, available from DECC website and only require basic mathematical skills. When it came out and Ed Milliband was the minister, he admitted that he had not read it. It would be interesting to know whether any of them have.

      • stred
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Proceedings jotted while having supper.

  4. arschloch
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    John and LL because he is going to be straight out of the gate with fracking too. How long do you expect the benefits of fracking to last for? Has not your fellow FT columnist Terry Smith pointed out that the “frackers” are companies that you have not heard of, because the big energy companies do not see it as a worthwhile long term investment. Its also nice to see the vapidity of the political class in action with a concern about industries that use a lot of energy like steel making. No wonder the economy is stagnant if you think we can make a living out of old twentieth century industries like that. Even if you forget about cheaper non EU imports, Mittal will always find it more profitable to invest at their Nowa Huta plant in Poland than their ones in the UK, simply because of the labour cost differential. We are doomed because the political class cannot see economy based on anything else but the City and industries where the Chinese and E European EU members can always beat us on price.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Gas prices in the US can be 1/3 of those in the UK thank to fracking and UK resources are perhaps rather better in many ways.

      • arschloch
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Yes but you also have to remember all govts here love to sting us with a regressive tax on petrol, which I believe is the highest in the EU, perhaps in the name of social justice and economic competitiveness this can be looked at.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          Well we would not people being able to afford to get to work would we?

    • Edward2
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Competitively priced energy is a crucial component for the long term success and economic growth of the UK in a very competitive world economy.
      Its not just steel making, it affects all commerce : high street shops with huge electricity bills, hospitals, transport costs,supermarkets with high refridgeration costs etc.
      The USA with its much lower energy and oil costs (now more domestically produced) has competed better in the world and is getting good levels of growth.
      Our energy policy is putting our companies out of business, reducing the standard of living of many of our most vunerable citizens and causing higher than needed unemployment.
      The media when discussing energy costs always concentrates on individuals heating and lighting their homes and rarely considers the negative affect on businesses abilities to compete and create employment.

      • uanime5
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        Our energy policy is putting our companies out of business, reducing the standard of living of many of our most vunerable citizens and causing higher than needed unemployment.

        Something that isn’t happening in other EU countries with higher energy costs.

        • Hope
          Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          The competitiveness of some EU countries is appalling hence why there is such high unemployment, destitution, and migration.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 7, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          Naive nonsense Uni
          European industrialsed nations have also lost jobs to other nations like China and India and the deliberate policy of having ever more expensive energy will continue that process, especially as nations like Australia, USA and many others do not.

          Presumably you have forgotten the very high levels of unemployment in the EU and think that the cost of energy has no effect.

    • forthurst
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      “No wonder the economy is stagnant if you think we can make a living out of old twentieth century industries like that.”

      I take, arschloch, that you have done a study of the economics of steel-making in the 21st century, different to that taking place in the dark satantic mills of yore, with regiments of sweating labourers. What are the relative costs of high overpriced energy, transportation, capital investment, labour, unnecessary red tape, in the build up to the gross cost of supplying local markets?

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Arschloch ,

      Take a look at EOG Resources in the US or Continental to see huge companies which make money from dry gas shale reservoirs at very low gas prices .

      EOG Resources getting involved in UK shale would provide vindication that household names like BP couldn’t .

      Exxon Mobil bought XTO as a route into shale and that investment is starting to pay for itself .

      EROI (as I’m sure you know stands for energy returned on [energy] invested) is like crack cocaine to people like Terry as no doubt it feels familiar to City sorts .

      You can have a relatively low EROI so long as the process is highly scalable but the EROI crown doesn’t seem to have grasped scalability .

      What the UK needs to keep the lights on (and maintain it’s standard of living) is a few more risk taking wildcatter types and a few less risk averse fund managers .

    • Mark
      Posted March 8, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      The reason why big companies have fought shy of involvement in UK shale prospects is that they know that government has been more minded to support Green protesters than serious business, and started out by trying to over-tax the North Sea, resulting in a spate of cancelled projects and asset sales and early field closures.

      Shell has openly commented that they’re delighted they weren’t involved in Balcombe. It is interesting to note that both BG and Total have now started to get involved as they test to see whether there is a genuine change of heart that will survive the next election. They know that the resource is substantial, and in principle low cost to develop as shale plays go.

      In fact, Cuadrilla has just released analysis to suggest that they think they originally underestimated the size of the resource in their licence area by around 50%.

  5. Steve Cox
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t get too worked up about a shale gas and oil revolution here. This is partly because British environmental and planning laws are too strict and local opposition or NIMBYism is too deeply entrenched, but also due to an almost complete absence of the drilling services and infrastructure necessary on land. So far the US has drilled over 100,000 shale wells on land. The eventual total is forecast to surpass 1 million wells. These wells have a much shorter life span than conventional gas and oil wells so to simply keep a plateau production level, never mind increasing the production total, you have to drill new wells pretty much continuously. To put that number of wells in context, from the start of offshore drilling on the UKCS until mid-2011, just 11,181 wells have been drilled IN TOTAL in almost half a century of activity. Given that the UK only has a handful of active onshore drilling rigs and a dearth of land-based equipment from service companies able to provide the specialised services required by shale wells, such as horizontal drilling and multiple hydraulic fracturing, never mind the conventional services required by any well, such as mud treatment and storage, well logging and cementation services. It will require a huge investment by the oil and gas industry to provide the level of activity required. Then there is removal of the produced fluids. In much of the US shale basins dedicated pipelines are uneconomic so that waste water and produced oil have to be physically trucked away. Perhaps the smaller distances in the UK will make pipelines more attractive, I don’t know if that has been studied in detail yet. Can you imagine what the landscape will look like if we managed to drill and complete just 10,000 wells, never mind 100,000? We are a small crowded island, not at all like the shale producing areas of the US. I don’t doubt that we will eventually have a shale gas industry, but how long it will take to make a meaningful contribution to our energy supply and how much it will ever produce is something that is wide open to debate at the moment.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      All of which reinforces the sense of vigorously pursuing Thorium reactors.

    • Mark
      Posted March 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      What a load of nonsense. The UK was the cradle of development of offshore exploitation of hydrocarbons, pioneering one development after another – including horizontal drilling, fracking and so forth. It is trivial to build a few more drilling rigs for land use. By comparison with the North Sea, the resource required is small.

      Moreover, a typical North Sea platform may sit over up to 100 wells fanning out in different directions (some may be for gas, some for oil, and some for injection to maintain reservoir pressures). The onshore Wytch Farm field has 193 wells – some reaching 11km away from the wellsite – and yet it only occupies a few acres for its drillpads. The field produced more energy than ALL the windfarms in the UK until just a couple of years ago – and few people even realise it is there, despite some of those well running under the very expensive houses on Sandbanks.

      All it takes is some proper backing by government, with settled and agreed regulation (really, there is little to add to the rules that have kept Wytch Farm successfully going about its business for almost 40 years in an environmentally sensitive area, disposing of its millions of barrels of produced water, drilling and fracking horizontal wells etc.). Then the cash and expertise will flow, and so will the gas and the upstream taxes and lower import bills.

  6. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    We need to take heed John and look at the unhealthy air reported in China December 2013 , where the particulate/ smog was so dense that citizens wore masks and new born babies developed respiratory problems. The quality air index was described as hazardous.

    To look at the reasons why energy is so dear must be the next step . It is not sufficient to say it is because of tariffs or green energy. The reason is often ‘just because they can’. High prices not only affects GB production but elsewhere. We need to continue finding effective greener ways. Whilst we have to buy dear energy we all will be in a position of supply and demand. We need: they can charge high prices.

    • oldtimer
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      The UK dealt with smog years ago with measures like the Clean Air Act. The technology is much more advanced now and is available for China to use today as it should do for the benefit of its citizens.

      The CO2 scare, for that is what it is, is another issue. It rested on, and still rests on, computer models into the far future based on the assumptions and assertions that the modellers built into them. These claimed that atmospheric CO2 and temperature went hand in hand and, even more importantly, that cloud feedback multiplied this effect by a factor of two or more. They claimed that man made C)2 was the decisive trigger. The evidence now available reveals that these assumptions and assertions are wrong. Consequently those same modellers are scrambling to think up other assumptions and assertions to explain away their failed predictions. UK energy policy is founded on these failed assumptions and assertions. The politicians who promote them, notably Miliband, Clegg, Davey and Cameron, now demand that we believe them as an article of faith. Furthermore, their so-called green energy remedies (such as wind or solar energy) actually make the problem they claim they solve to be worse than before. By contrast the USA has, through technological ingenuity, has found a way to extract gas from shale deposits that provides much cleaner energy than the alternatives. The UK should do the same.

      • behindthefrogs
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        The big mistake is not producing green energy with solar and wind farms but allowing such generation to be carried out by large profit driven companies.

        We need simple laws like all suitable large new buildings must have solar panels installed on their roofs. All upgrades to locks and weirs on our rivers must be reviewed for the possibility of power generation. Similarly all tidal flood defences should be reviewed for the possibility of tidal power generation. There are many other examples.

        Most of these possibilties are too small for the large companies to be interested but together they could account for a reasonable proportion of the country’s future power requirements

        • stred
          Posted March 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          There already are regulations which require pv on new building as part of an expensive package. It is also the no one recommendation in the Greendeal. Unfortunately, it is by far the most expensive way to produce energy, only works at 10% under cloud and is often fitted on roofs not facing south, which makes it even more useless. On the other hand, regulations make wall insulation on the many solid walled houses much more expensive than it need be and grants have dried up for the householders on benefit, as it is paid for by other customers and ministers wish to reduce bills.

      • uanime5
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

        These claimed that atmospheric CO2 and temperature went hand in hand

        Something that has been scientifically proven because higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere treat more heat, thus raising the average global temperature.

        The evidence now available reveals that these assumptions and assertions are wrong.

        Care to provide some of this evidence your basing your entire claim on. Unless you have evidence that constantly increasing CO2 levels won’t result in the average global temperature constantly increasing we will eventually suffer severe consequences if we continue to increase atmospheric CO2 levels.

        Furthermore, their so-called green energy remedies (such as wind or solar energy) actually make the problem they claim they solve to be worse than before.

        How exactly as green energy remedies that don’t produce CO2 making this problem worse? Funny how you’re never able to provide any reasons or evidence to back up your claims.

        By contrast the USA has, through technological ingenuity, has found a way to extract gas from shale deposits that provides much cleaner energy than the alternatives.

        While gas in cleaner than coal it’s not cleaner than renewable energy.

        • APL
          Posted March 7, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          uanime5: “Care to provide some of this evidence your basing your entire claim on.”

          Talking of ‘evidence’,

          Care to provide the plot of CO2 concentrations between 1913 and 1958?

          • Hope
            Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

            The plot exists in his mind.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 7, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

          Care to explain Uni, why despite rising levels of CO2 since 2000 the rise of global temperature has stalled?
          Don’t forget to explain that 2000 was predicted in the first IPCC report that temperatures would reach a tipping point and actually accelerate.

        • oldtimer
          Posted March 7, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          You need to pay more attention to the science papers in AR5 and not rely on the Summary forr Policy Makers, which is a political document which quotes selectively and owes as much to a propaganda agenda as it does to science.

          Global temperature changes and the man made contribution to atmospheric CO2 do not even correlate let alone make any case for causation of one by the other. Check the evidence.

          It is well established that investments in green energy such as wind farms and solar schemes are inefficient because they are intermittent thus unreliable, require 100% fossil fuel back up on permanent standby and produce more CO2 as a consequence. The German experience is a prime example, as I have posted references on this site before,

          The USA hs actually reduced its CO2 emissions through the use of shale gas extracted by fracking. The UK needs to do the same, if that is possible. Not to do so would only serve the interests of Putin and Gazprom, who have a vested interest in keeping western Europe dependent on Russian oil and gas.

  7. Old Albion
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Just one of the many reasons the (dis)UK should leave the EU. But politicians won’t let us.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      They seem happy to let Scotland leave both the EU and the UK!

  8. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Well, JR, those pro-EU businessmen who complain about the high cost of energy could start by looking at Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union that they support, on page 132 here:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:083:0047:0200:EN:PDF

    That says:

    “1. Union policy on the environment shall contribute to pursuit of the following objectives …

    … promoting measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems, and in particular combating climate change.”

    Then you could explain to them that the words “and in particular combating climate change” were inserted by the Lisbon Treaty which came into force on December 1st 2009, and that the elevation of that objective to a specific treaty commitment was praised by some advocates of that treaty, and that on November 4th 2009 our present Prime Minister accepted that along with everything else in the Lisbon Treaty as being a fait accompli while pretending that the treaty no longer existed anyway.

    • Hope
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Well said.

    • oldtimer
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      A good example of group think embodied in law and treaties to make it next to impossible for it to be changed.

  9. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I woke up this am, thinking about a problem which is ever growing. One may not think it is in context with de coking the car or de carbonisation, yet this attitude filters on an increasing scale into every activity of every day. It was not a problem 20 years ago when British attitudes were different and opinions were seen to be equal.

    I heard only yesterday someone comment “you are nothing” in the context of who are you to have a voice and another familiar comment ‘ who are you’ It is a growing imagining that people who have been appointed to a decent salaried position , by nepotism, by’ who you know’, by memorising a few facts at exam times, by attending the correct school , or by being in a job where they can display their wares like a peacock, entitles them to a valid opinion which every one will say ‘yes sir’ too?

    Unfortunately these prize peacocks don’t seem to have the foggiest idea that everyone is entitled to learn in their own way and have opinions which may or may not be of equal importance. In this world there is no such thing as tiered thoughts .All people make up the whole . I myself refuse to be rude to any sentient being, so why do these lesser ( in my mind) individuals need to attack an ill defined social place in the world and confuse status with opinion or knowledge.

  10. Mark B
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    John Redwood MP said;

    “One of the ironies on Tuesday night was to hear businesses who rightly complain about the cost of UK energy at the same time defend our current memebrship of the EU . . .”

    Not just business but people and even MP’s.

    You seem to have hit the nub of the problem. Question is, how do you intend to deal with it. You have the good fortune of having access and a platform that can reach out to business.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Since Cameron threw the last election away with his pre-election, cast iron, EU ratting, Clegg on TV and and a lefty high tax/big government/endless waste agenda we are stuck with the Libdems and the 50% Libdem MPs in the Tory party.

      He cannot even fire Davey or Cable, who are so clearly against anything sensible that would help business, provide cheaper energy, create jobs or improve living standards.

  11. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I keep remembering Helmuth von Moltke of Germany saying of the French, “While they are discussing, we are building miles and miles of railway.”

    Exactly the same is happening about climate change and fracking. We are discussing it. The other peoples of the world are freely doing what they think is necessary to keep their industry flourishing.

  12. Man of Kent
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Does anyone ever feel just teensy bit that we might get somewhere if Putin or Merkel

    were transferred in to run the country ?

    • Sebastian Weetabix
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Yes. With all due respect to our host we are governed by Oxbridge essay writers rather than ‘do-ers’. The Chinese politburo is by contrast almost entirely made up of engineers. A term we use in this country to describe anyone holding a spanner, rather than a highly qualified mathematically inclined applied scientist with chartered professional status.

      It is interesting that virtually all governmental failures in this country – energy policy/climate change being the prime example – are all failures of scientific understanding or quantification. Mrs Thatcher, whether you love her or hate her, was a model of intellectual clarity. A chemistry degree will do that for you.

      I long ago came to the conclusion that the Oxford PPE degree is little more than media studies for the posh and deserves about the same amount of respect.

      Reply I did not read PPE, and do also hold a professional qualification in investment.

      • Sebastian Weetabix
        Posted March 6, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Mrs Merkel is also a chemist, btw.

  13. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Try telling your leader who said the following in the Commons recently: “I believe man-made climate change is one of the most serious threats this country and this world faces – that is why we have the world’s first green investment bank here in Britain”. On the other hand, perhaps you will be cowed by Davey, the energy secretary, who, according to today’s Telegraph, has told you and others like you to “shut it”? The EU rules and anyone who speaks against its dictats should know their place!

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Indeed Cameron’s lack of direction is the clear problem. A fish rots from the head.

  14. John E
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Nuclear is ideal for base load electricity provision, but it takes intelligent long term planning. If we had any Mojo left in the UK we would be developing Thorium reactors – instead the Chinese are leading the way. Our current reactors are by-products of nuclear weapons requirements – Thorium makes more sense for a peaceful civil programme.

    We need the gas to keep our houses warm and shouldn’t be importing and burning it to make electricity.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      John E–You are so right: there is not the slightest question but that Thorium is better; however it is far from being just a question of its making more sense for peaceful purposes (I once did a year’s research at Harwell and did understand it all once); if I remember correctly, it literally cannot be used for weapons; at the time when the relative decision was made that was the end of the analysis.

    • Mark
      Posted March 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      The World Nuclear Association comments:

      The use of thorium as a new primary energy source has been a tantalizing prospect for many years. Extracting its latent energy value in a cost-effective manner remains a challenge, and will require considerable R&D investment. This is occurring preeminently in China, with modest US support.

      More (up to date) information here:

      http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Current-and-Future-Generation/Thorium/

  15. Richard1
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    One potential positive outcome of Russian aggression in the Ukraine will be to encourage the UK and other countries to get moving with shale gas. It is essential that Europe secures energy independence from Russia. This crisis must be used to knock down the protests of the Eco left on this issue.

    • lifelogic
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      The Eco left being the BBC, the EU, 90% of government, most teacher and the exam system, about 90% of the Tory party, Labour, the Libdems and the loony greens………….

    • Atlas
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes – and also keep our existing coal fired power stations going. This is so that any reduction in Russian gas due to sanctions can be compensated for by using our gas fired power stations less so as to keep the remaining gas for those who need it.

  16. Juliet46
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    “It is true that this time they are not imposing individual targets on individual states, unlike our current demanding targets.”

    Which “states” are these, Mr. Redwood? Did you mean Countries?

    Reply It is difficult to see the Euroland states as countries any more, given the powers they have granted to the EU. They are “member states” of the EU and Euroland.

  17. Paul
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    John, I long for the day when you stand by your convictions by asking the Prime minister during PMQs why we still follow the cult of climate change.
    Of course this isn’t ever going to happen. Like many sceptical members of parliament you write alot about this issue but find yourself holding back when in the limelight of Television for fear of being subjected a DENIER.
    Come on John do it. Just do it. You will get the utmost respect not only from the likes of me but from millions of people consigned to poverty all over the world as a result of this madness.

    Reply I have raised the issues of climate change in Parliament with tv cameras filming every word. I have not had the opportunity of a PM question for some time, and know the answer Mr Cameron would give if I did ask the general question you suggest.

  18. Paul
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Subjected? Where on earth did that come from. Labelled.

  19. Bert Young
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Energy costs directly affect everyone and we should not hesitate to exploit whatever means we have to address the problem ; if fracking is a solution ( no matter what the projected time scale is ) we must get on with it . The position taken by the EU is an impediment and ought not to be imposed on us ; it has shown – time and time again , to be a thorn in our side and wrong in its judgements . The sooner we get rid of the EU’s tentacles the better ; Nigel Farage has been gifted several opportunities recently to highlight our dilemma and will , I’m sure , use them to cause embarrassment and hasten our exit .

  20. Julian
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Fracking is not safe:
    (Reuters) – Shale gas exploration triggered small earthquakes near Blackpool in northwest England earlier this year, UK firm Cuadrilla Resources said, adding to concerns about the safety of a technology that is transforming U.S. energy markets. Wed Nov 2, 2011.

    Coal instead!

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 6, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Julian .

      You say frac’ing is unsafe .

      How many people has frac’ing killed ?

      I’m big on coal too if mercury and other toxins are removed from flue gasses .

      Furthermore the fly ash can substitute for some of the portland cement in concrete .

      To claim frac’ing is dangerous and then promote coal which costs thousands of lives in the mining industry and in the wider population due to air polution is disingenuous .

    • Elrond Cupboard
      Posted March 7, 2014 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      At Richter 2.3 the Blackpool “quake” was slightly less noticeable than a lorry driving past your house. Don’t listen to the ever present scaremongering, please.

    • APL
      Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Julian: “Coal instead!”

      Do you even understand the different methods of extraction?

      With Coal mining, if it isn’t open cast, a seam anything up to 6 feet in height is removed wholesale. The strata is left to collapse into the void as the coal face moves forward.

      With fracking, a bore is drilled into the strata, and by some method the surrounding strata is fractured causing the release of the gas captured in the porous strata. The bulk of the seam is left in place.

      Which is more likely to cause earth quakes? Conventional coal mining or phracking?

  21. Paul
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    What’s the matter John, didn’t you like the question I posed earlier? Doesn’t quite fit in with your supposed conservative credentials. All I asked was that you had the bottle to put forward your views on climate change to a wider public and not confine it to your fans on this little blog of yours.
    It’s no wonder people don’t like politicians especially the type who say one thing from the left side of their mouth and another from the right side.

    Reply What I write on this blog is a public statement. What I say here is the what I say in Parliament and on the media as well.

  22. Lewis
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    So, you want to use less energy, globally?

    Two choices, then. Either each individual tailors his life so as to consume less … OR, you have fewer individuals.

    I expect we’ll discover that the first option doesn’t work as well as expected. Round about then, the EU will decide to implement the second option… that of active population reduction and totalitarian management of the remainder.

    All part of Agenda 21, I believe.

    I know, I know … tinfoil hat.

    • APL
      Posted March 7, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Lewis: “ound about then, the EU will decide to implement the second option… ”

      Its already tried its best to start a war in Ukrane.

      Our very own prime minister has done his bit to aggravate the situation with his provocative speech in Kazakhstan, last year. Laying claim as it seem’d to do, to half of Russia.

      It was either provocative or a measure of the man’s ignorance, either way it can’t have gone down well in Moscow.

  23. Richard
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Of course the EU knows that increasing energy price will make us poorer. This is a deliberate policy as the EU knows that a prosperous and well educated middle class is needed for a democracy to exist.

    Incidentally, the EU and the Ukraine are alike in that both are led by corrupt organisations. The difference between them being that whereas the deposed president of the Ukraine, Mr. Yanukovych was elected, the EU Commissioners such as Mr. Barroso, Mr. van Rompuy, Baroness Ashton and Mr. Fule, the EU Commissioner in charge of EU enlargement, were not.

  24. uanime5
    Posted March 6, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    I assume the EU expects success partly because this policy must cause substantial furtehr de industrialisation in the EU.

    Why would if require further de-industrialisation? The whole point of using renewable power is that it allows a country to generate the same amount of power while producing less CO2.

    Given the much higher energy prices this implies compared to the USA’s cheap gas or China’s coal, they must be factoring in a furtehr large transfer of industrial activity outside the EU.

    So they’re going to counteract this through more tariffs and quotas on non-EU products. Well it’s good that they’ve got it all figured out.

    It would have been better if their new targets had been CO2 emissions needed to produce what we consume, rather than the CO2 taken for what we produce.

    Or CO2 emissions based on what percentage of the population the UK has. So as the UK has 1% of the world’s population we’d only be able to produce 1% of the world’s CO2 emissions (rather than 2%).

    Importing energy intensive products will not help the overall world csamapign againstg CO2, though it will leave us poorer and the parts of the world making things richer.

    Given that the UK is a net importer it’s highly likely we’re already doing this.

    Let us hope the UK can get on with its own shale revolution, and discover enough cheaper gas to give us a chance.

    Given that the oil and gas companies are saying that it won’t result in a reduction similar to the US’ gas price reduction even if the fracking goes well it may not reduce gas prices.

    The US is both cutting its CO2 and providing plenty of cheaper power for an industrial revival. We need to follow that example.

    The US is cutting CO2 levels by closing their coal power plants, something the UK is also doing.

    • miami.mode
      Posted March 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      “Or CO2 emissions based on what percentage of the population the UK has. So as the UK has 1% of the world’s population we’d only be able to produce 1% of the world’s CO2 emissions (rather than 2%).”

      Are you seriously trying to say that, for example, an inhabitant of a poor Zimbabwean village is responsible for the same amount of CO2 emissions as a UK resident who runs a car or uses public transport, uses copious amounts of electricity e.g. on the internet, takes the odd flight abroad, and probably feeds him/herself with food transported from another country?

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted March 8, 2014 at 2:26 am | Permalink

      Do tell me how Germany’s huge open case mine to extract lots of dirty brown lignite coal fits into the EU’s policy. And its production of heavy locomotives, heavy railway carriages and heavy motor cars. And how clean is the industrial waste that it tips into the Danube on its way to the Black Sea?

  25. Mark
    Posted March 8, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I note China has told the world that it expects everyone else to solve its environmental problems by shutting down their economies to let China grow some more (so it can self-justify its level of emissions, which it has promised to cut modestly per unit of GDP).

    China said developed countries should be “taking the lead in greenhouse gas emission reduction and honouring their responsibility and obligation in providing technology and finance support to developing nations”.

    By 2020, richer countries should give $100 billion (£59.6 billion) each year to aid climate change efforts. It also suggests that from 2020, developed nations should give at least 1% of their GDP each year to the Green Climate Fund, based in Songdo, South Korea.

    The China submission also urges developed nations to commit to a more ambitious target of reducing emissions by 40%, when compared to pre-industrial levels.

    Blue and Green tomorrow

    China’s current goal, for instance, is to reduce the amount of carbon emitted per unit of economic output by 2020, a measure that allows emissions to rise with fast economic growth.

    Reuters

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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