Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Britain's Landmark Climate Change Initiative

The British government's advisory committee on climate change has presented a proposal for the U.K. to cut its carbon emissions by a staggering 60% by 2030.  From The Guardian:

 Achieving the target proposed by the Committee on Climate Change requires a complete revamp of the nation's electricity market, making it virtually zero-carbon, as well as an overhaul of heat-leaking homes and the replacement of petrol-driven cars with 11m electric or plug-in hybrid models.

The CCC's 2030 target, if passed into law as previous CCC targets have been, would be the first legally binding 2030 target in the world. The target – which is a cut relative to 1990 emissions levels – is intended to lead the way to a legally binding 80% UK cut by 2050.
" We are recommending a stretching but realistic fourth carbon budget and 2030 target, achievable at a cost of less than 1% of GDP. We therefore urge the government to legislate the budget, and to develop the policies required to cut emissions," said Lord Turner, who is the CCC's chair, as well as chairman of the Financial Services Authority. "The case for action on climate change is as strong as ever: climate science remains robust and suggests that there are very significant risks if we do not cut emissions. And countries acting now will gain economic benefits in an increasingly carbon-constrained world."

If the Brits are right and they can reduce their carbon emissions by 60% in just twenty years at a cost of less than 1% of GDP, what in Hell is our excuse?  Prime minister Chicken Licken uses raw fear, the first weapon of the truly unscrupulous, to claim the Canadian economy would reel from leading the Americans on climate change initiatives instead of merely following meekly behind.

I don't believe for a minute we could achieve the Brit's ambitious goal.  A lot of their ideas work best in a very densely populated urban environment but they could still be applicable to the Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal regions.

Of course Canada, thanks to the Conservatives and the Liberals, has been transformed into a classic petro-state.  With plans for a possible five fold expansion of the Tar Sands we pretty much kiss goodbye any hope of meaningful global warming initiatives.

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