We think we’re reducing emissions with our green policies — but we’re not

The Ratcliffe-on Soar power station in the East Midlands

Several recent reports have suggested that although carbon dioxide emissions in the UK have reduced in recent years, the figures are deceptive.  Put simply, much of our manufacturing has moved overseas.  If you want to know what emissions are attributable to our consumption within the UK, you have to add not only UK emissions but also the net “Embedded CO2” in our foreign trade.  And that net figure is positive.  So we are responsible for more emissions that the UK figures alone suggest.

According to a report from the Carbon Trust, between 1992 and 2010 our UK-only emissions decreased by 5.6% (from 619 to 584 MtCO2).  Well done us.  Break open the champagne.  But if you add in the net emissions attributable to trade, the figure has risen by 27% (663 to 844 MtCO2).

A separate US report by the National Academy of Sciences suggests that over the last twenty years, emissions in developed countries have stabilised, but emissions in developing countries have doubled (which is, of course, an inevitable consequence of economic growth).

The conclusion is that, while we cheerfully soldier on with our “green policies”, believing that we’re cutting emissions and saving the planet, we’re really doing no such thing.

There are of course a number of reasons why so much manufacturing is moving to developing countries, not least the low unit labour costs (or what we used to call, when I was in the textile business, “cheap finger markets”).

But there are clearly other reasons as well.  Laxer environmental standards overseas.  And the massive “green” costs and taxes which we impose on businesses in the EU, and in the UK.  We have carbon taxes, and the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, fraught with distortions and anomalies.  Recently Ineos, the UK’s largest chemicals company (I can remember when it was ICI!) has been threatening to close its chlorine plant in Runcorn, with the loss of 1000 jobs, because green taxes make it uneconomic to continue.

And it’s not just Ineos.  All energy-intensive companies are feeling the pinch.  Glass.  Metals.  Paper.   Cement.  These are the manufacturing companies that Cameron and Osborne are relying on to “rebalance the economy”.  But we’re driving them off-shore.

How’s this for a lose-lose deal?  The total emissions associated with UK consumption are going up, even as we kid ourselves that we’ve got them under control.  Businesses are moving to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards.  And in the middle of serious economic problems, we’re deliberately driving jobs, and business, and investment, out of the UK — and the EU — entirely.  Our green policies are damaging our economy, while doing  absolutely zilch for the environment.

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10 Responses to We think we’re reducing emissions with our green policies — but we’re not

  1. James A. Hutchinson says:

    Roger , couldn’t agree more .
    I hear on todays news that Germany , because of what happened in Japan recently , is to abolish nuclear power in a few years time . I do hope for their sake that they are not going to rely on “windmill” power for all their heavy industry . It appears to me to be a knee-jerk reaction , fueled ( pardon the pun ) by the green brigade .I was not aware that Germany suffered from major earthquakes and / or tsunami’s . Not noticed much devastation along the Rhine recently ! If not the dreaded windmills , are they considering going back to coal fired power stations ? What then of the EU’s CO2 emissions policy ?

  2. Pingback: The Fairfacts Media Show » Blog Archive » Yet more contradictions of eco-fascism !!

  3. Climate Change Con....... says:

    “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Interglacial Warmth”

  4. Climate Change Con. says:

    Professor Will Happer : fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He received a Alfred P. Sloan fellowship in 1966, an Alexander von Humboldt award in 1976, the Herbert P.Broida Prize in 1997, the Davisson-Germer prize and the Thomas Alva Edison patent award in 2000. In 2003 he was named the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University”

    http://www.youtube.com/user/co2science#p/u/28/uwCMM5I5rQM

  5. Climate Change Con. says:

  6. James A. Hutchinson says:

    The a/m videos should be sent to all MP’s and MEP’s who have an input on the Climate Change agenda . Not that it would alter their outlook , as they are too entrenched in CO2 / Global Warming misrepresentation to back out now .

  7. George Lindsay says:

    This is mandatory viewing for all politicians, especially here in Scotland where they seem hell bent on the desecration of your treasured countryside in the name of climate change. Not only that but their policies will result in economic decline and ultimately black outs

  8. EFTA NOT EU says:

    http://notrickszone.com/2011/04/17/preachy-germanys-black-coal-consumption-skyrockets-15-4-in-2010-due-to-cold/

    “Preachy Germany’s Black Coal Consumption Skyrockets 15.4% in 2010 – Due To Cold!”

  9. EFTA NOT EU says:

    http://www.newsinenglish.no/2011/05/25/norway-spews-out-more-emissions/

    “Norway bills itself as an environmentally friendly nation, but its own greenhouse gas emissions rose nearly 5 percent last year. “

  10. Clark Cross says:

    It is a gigantic scam to make money by scaring us.
    Politicians want to be our “saviours” and lead us to the promised land.
    This means that, until the first power failure, they will keep their lucrative jobs and perks and easy life all at our expense.
    Wake up Britain and topple these morans from power before it is too late and we freeze to death in the next mini-ice age

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