The United Kingdom admits that it will miss its 2010 CO2 target

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The British Government has admitted it will miss its own target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2010 by a large margin.

New projections from the Department of the Environment (DEFRA) put CO2 emissions in 2010 at only 15.5 per cent below 1990 levels, and note the target had always been intended to be stretching.

The UK Climate Change Program annual report to parliament said it expected emissions of CO2, thought by many, though not by me, and even experts of the highest caliber, to be the main culprit in global warming, the latter which has stopped and plateaued out about 7 years ago and has not moved since, to be 26 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

"The Government has clearly failed to take the action needed to meet its own targets for cutting the UK's carbon dioxide emissions," Friends of the Earth spokesman Martyn Williams said.

"This unhappy situation is made even worse by the fact that these targets are out of date and massively underestimate the overall level of cuts that is needed."

However, all eyes are screwed to “CO2” emissions and reduction of same in order to stop and reverse the effect that they once referred to as “Global Warming” and now, probably because they all know very well but are still misleading the public, as “Climate Change”.

Yes, the climate is, probably, changing and the Earth is going through cycles of this every so often. There is enough evidence of this in records alone over the last 2000 years let alone further than that. We cannot, of that I am certain, stop it or reverse it. What we must do it to learn to live with it and then live with it.

The Government has prided itself in taking a global leadership role in combating climate change, taking strong measures at home and keeping the issue in the forefront of international negotiations.

But its Climate Change Bill that will set a legal target of cutting national CO2 emissions by at least 60 per cent by 2050 is well behind schedule in the parliamentary process and recent reports have shown the Government slipping from its own agenda.

The Government has even admitted that it has been badly underestimating national emissions, noting that if carbon embedded in imports from China were included then far from falling they would actually have risen sharply.

A report issued by DEFRA ahead of last week's G8 summit in Japan said CO2 emissions fell by 5 per cent between 1992 and 2004.

But it said they actually rose by 115 million tonnes or 18 per cent over the same period when the carbon emissions linked to imported goods were included in the calculation.

Way too much energy – pardon the pun – is being expended on the effort to reduce CO2 emissions; something which is not go to stop nor reverse climate change. The change is happening and it is continuing to happen and it is very doubtful that we can do anything about stopping it.

Having said this, however, I do agree with the fact that we must get away from fossil fuels and the reason is manifold. Not the least being, obviously, the general pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels. In addition to that there is the simple fact that oil, natural gas and coal are running out or have run out, depending where one looks.

So, we are right to look at alternative energy and recycling and all what we are doing and we must intensify that. But, we must stop the stupid notion of CO2 or the reduction of it can stop and/or even reverse climate change. Instead we must look at how we can live with it, for learning to live with it we must. We have no other choice.

We must also reduce our impact on the environment and this not in any way as and effort in regards to reversing climate change for we have just established that it is happening and it is natural and there is probably nothing that we can do against it.

So, we have to learn new ways. New ways of growing things, new ways – and some are not even new at all – of transportation, from personal to the transportation of goods and people, etc. Which also means that we MUST manufacture goods at home again instead of importing them long distances from places such as China; countries with dubious records on standards and labor laws.

Time for a real change...

© M Smith (Veshengro), July 2008