Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Waiting for Climate Change to turn up

Letters Editor, Guardian

You report today that "Ministers bow to pressure for climate bill" (25th October), but in doing so, they remove all the teeth from the bill by making its targets run from decade to decade, rather than year to year.

This is in keeping with Blair's inaction while he presided over international talks climate change. During protracted correspondence with both officials and ministers, it became clear to me that the Government's strategy was modelled on that great Victorian manager of affairs, Mr Micawber. I was informed that HMG had no intention whatsoever of putting any specific plan forward in the discussions that they were "leading". The intention was to wait for other parties around the table to put something forward. They refused to use Simultaneous Policy, that is, to make a pledge to use a specific mechanism such as Contraction and Convergence, which would be acted on when a sufficient number of other parties also signed up to it. Instead, they insisted that any climate change agreement, when it emerges, must involve 100% of all parties - a totally unrealistic notion.

From all of this, we can expect precisely nothing to emerge from the British Government under present management. It would be completely naive to expect the Tories to be more pro-active. They will talk green while in opposition, but in government they will adopt the same rabbit-in-the-headlights pose as Labour. In times when politicians have lost the plot, it is up to the people to provide them with motivation. I would remind all readers that there is a Climate Change rally at the US embassy in London at 11 a.m., November 4th. Bring a sleeping bag.

Dr Richard Lawson


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