Don’t be fooled as UK calls for ‘light touch’ on EU climate goals – guest blog


Guest Blog by Iain McKie, UKIP Parliamentary Candidate 2015 Isle of Wight

The UK and Czech Republic have suggested that they might depart from the standard formula on reducing greenhouse Gas Emissions, and use a ‘light touch‘ in order to reach their 2030 target.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that this lets the UK off the hook on the targets.  Far from it.  It is more likely to increase the UK’s environmental tax base.

The central revenue generator for emission taxes is the EU ETS which covers the following: power, iron\steel, ceramics, cement, refineries, pulp, glass, air travel, and from 2016 shipping.  It covers the following gases: sulphur hexafluoride, per fluorocarbons, hydro fluorocarbons, methane and nitrous oxide.  The methodologies are standardised by the EU and the system is inflexible.What the UK is proposing is called a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA).  This means that the UK can effectively expand the ETS according to its own whim.  It could, for example, include methane gasses from agriculture or methane gasses released from digging up the ground, or emissions from cars.  It could include new gasses like NH3 or NO2.  Additionally it can reward carbon sinks or nuclear power stations for their ‘carbon savings.’  In other words, the UK is proposing that iut awards itself the flexibility to decide how it hits its targets.

Hitting any of these targets will require some form of credit that is bought from the Government, typically through an auction process.  The proceeds of which are kept as direct taxation.  In effect, what the UK is proposing is an increase in revenue generated from environmental legislation.

Currently this sits at 2.6% of GDP, and by changing parameters the Government can increase this up.  Being an environmental charge it is an easy sell to the population, and are welcomed by the sectors as they involve a subsidy followed by higher prices, and they tend to be quite a small slice of the consumer cost (and with higher prices comes, in most cases, a higher VAT take).

Please do not view this proposal by the UK as anything other than a very bad thing.  I have had discussions with DECC over the years and NAMAs have long been on the agenda.

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14 Responses to Don’t be fooled as UK calls for ‘light touch’ on EU climate goals – guest blog

  1. tallbloke says:

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    Iain Mckie gives the lowdown on a new tax raising power the UK is negotiating with the EU. So much for Cameron “getting rid of this green crap”

  2. Brin Jenkins says:

    As usual Government pushes ahead with its green agenda, and the whole of their reasoning is based on a false premise.

    CO2 taxes finance the foreign aid programs to the Third World, these Countries all started off as low carbon economies, giving them aid from our CO2 tax raised money, makes them into consumers producing Carbon Dioxide. This is counter productive to the stated aims of green taxes!

    At the same time the fact that CO2 is released by heat, and therefore can not also be the cause of this heating is overlooked.

    Alice through the looking glass logic.

  3. Richard111 says:

    More evidence that Cameron can’t be trusted. The problem is to get the message across to the voters who work long hours and can’t afford the internet or the time to do the reading. They get a brief burst of BBC news and think all is under control. Well, in a way it is. But to the advantage of the socialists. The concept of one man one vote and unlimited postal votes to the unmentionables ensures the name ENGLAND will disappear from the world map and we will see something like 13 EU districts in place.

  4. Ex-expat Colin says:

    “EU lets UK subsidise nuclear power plant ”
    No..just simply No. I think we should do what we require to do, not conform to anything that could weaken the UK.
    There is no size that fits all and the EU must be prevented from influencing the weak Authority existing in UK. Hopefully something derails it all fairly soon.

    We actually pay people to come away with this cr*p !!

  5. Jane Davies says:

    Roger, is it true the UK has had to increase the amount it pays to remain on this sinking ship to £66 million a day?

  6. Ian Terry says:

    Nothing surprises me any more as the SS UK sails flat out to the icebergs.

    They have not got a cocking clue on what they are doing.

    Sorry I have not got a link but in the Scottish Herald today is a letter by Prof. Anthony Trewavas of the Scientific Alliance headed as Renewables Drain Our Resources and contents are mind blowing.

    Does anyone listen? This is what the people who bring out all this Green crap should be talking about and discovering that they still have to address the real problems.

  7. Ian Terry says:

    Sorry readers is was the Scotsman.

  8. Ian Terry says:

    Some of this might help you Roger, soory it had to be done the old way.

    Comment: Renewables drain our resources
    > ENVIRONMENTAL advantages of renewable energy are a myth – fusion energy is
    > the way forward says Anthony Trewavas
    > Renewables use sun, water, wind; energy sources that won’t run out.
    > Non-renewables come from things like gas, coal and uranium that one day
    > will. But unless electricity and motorised transport are abandoned
    > altogether, all “renewables” need huge areas of land or sea and require raw
    > materials that are drilled, transported, mined, bulldozed and these will
    > run out. Wind turbine towers are constructed from steel manufactured in a
    > blast furnace from mined iron ore and modified coal (coke). Turbine blades
    > are composed of oil-derived resins and glass fibre. The nacelle encloses a
    > magnet containing about one third of a tonne of the rare earth metals,
    > neodymium and dysprosium. Large neodymium magnets also help propel electric
    > cars.
    > Currently China provides 95 per cent of rare earths; proven reserves of
    > dysprosium will likely run out in 2020. Processing one tonne of ore
    > generates about one tonne of radioactive waste, 12 million litres of waste
    > gas containing dust concentrate, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide,
    > sulphuric acid and 75 thousand litres of waste water. Baotou, in China,
    > mines and processes much of the rare earth ores. The town abuts a
    > five-mile-wide, toxic, lifeless, radioactive lake of processed wastewater.
    > Local inhabitants have unusually high rates of cancer (particularly in
    > children), osteoporosis, skin and respiratory disease. This unseen
    > environmental destruction may be far off but no less damaging.
    > One thousand tonnes of concrete anchors the turbine base. The concrete used
    > for the 5000 or so built or consented turbines in Scotland would be
    > sufficient to construct an eight-lane motorway from John O’Groats to Land’s
    > End. Cement production generates 7 per cent of the world’s emissions.
    > Wilderness that is partitioned among turbines, access roads, crane pads and
    > power lines is no longer renewable.
    > The Oxford University conservationist, Clive Hambler, has summarised data
    > from Sweden, Germany, Spain, Denmark and USA that indicate 100 birds are
    > killed per turbine per year on average. For bats (that consume 3000 midges
    > per night), it is 200. UK estimates for turbine wildlife mortality are not
    > available. But with 5,000 Scottish turbines, premature destruction of birds
    > and bats is in the million range per year. Organisations established by
    > government to protect wildlife in Scotland are in denial over the damage
    > their consent to wind farms is causing.
    > Current expenditure on UK wind farms is more than £20 billion. If that
    > money had instead been used to construct 30 gas-fired power stations to
    > replace those using coal, emissions reduction would have been about 37 per
    > cent. Pristine countryside, reliable energy supplies and undamaged wildlife
    > would have been maintained. The present plethora of wind farms has only
    > reduced emissions at best by 7.5 per cent; necessary use of gas-fired
    > back-up for reliable electricity supplies makes it less than 4 per cent in
    > practice.
    > The production of just six solar panels requires at least one tonne of coal
    > to bake the silicon at high temperature. Solar panel production plants
    > generate 500 tonnes of hazardous sludge every year. Their manufacture
    > releases hexa-fluoroethane, nitrogen trifluoride, and sulphur
    > hexa-fluoride, greenhouse gases thousands of times more damaging than
    > carbon dioxide.
    > The life expectancy of solar panels and wind turbines is one half to one
    > quarter that of gas-fired or nuclear power stations. Dams for hydropower
    > (concrete again) are only scheduled to last 50 years. The low density of
    > energy for both wind and sun requires huge areas of land for electricity
    > generation. To replace the recently closed Cockenzie power station (1.2GW)
    > would require turbines covering a minimum of 70 square miles of countryside.
    > Geothermal energy requires fossil fuels/cement for power station
    > construction. Power transmission requires cables made either of steel,
    > copper (mined and processed) or even carbon fibre processed from fossil fuels.
    > The Drax coal-fired power station generates 7 per cent of UK electricity
    > and has been partially converted to burning wood to benefit from government
    > subsidies. A forest area substantially larger than Wales is needed for wood
    > supply. But deforestation abroad to supply the wood threatens replacement
    > of diverse ecosystems and wildlife damage with tree monocultures. When
    > burnt, wood is dirtier than coal in releasing CO2, nitrogen oxides, carbon
    > monoxide, particulates and organic volatiles. Up to 50 years are required
    > to recover the CO2 emissions. Most biofuels produce some surplus energy
    > over energy invested but with poor or negative emissions saving.
    > Displacement of crop-growing land for biofuel forces food price rises.
    > Renewable energy is a myth; none will last longer than the non-renewable
    > sources they all need. Uranium and thorium reserves should last thousands
    > of years. Nuclear fission in small, fast-neutron, modular reactors
    > generates electricity but waste that decays in one to two centuries. A
    > breakthrough in the construction of small containment vessels for
    > deuterium/tritium fusion has been reported. One kg of fusion fuel produces
    > energy equivalent to 10 million kg of fossil fuel. Deuterium is abundant in
    > the oceans. This is the future, not renewables.
    > • Professor A J Trewavas represents Scientific Alliance Scotland

  9. Doug Proctor says:

    As long as a government runs a deficit programme, there will be a push to increase taxes. How they are increased is immaterial as long as they are increased, though a more than less publiclly supported method is better.

    IMHO a lot of eco-green taxation policies are driven by the need to reduce the budget deficit. Right now eco-green dreams are palatable. A focused eco-green tax allows other monies raised to avoid the eco-green projects, even if the increase is only a portion of what is being spent.

    Getting back to surplus budgeting is the only way that specific projects can be tackled head-on. When they have to be justified as a contribution to society relative to some other projects, we will see the madness and grandiosity of elite or narrow voter groups curtailed. Not ended, but knocked back into appropriate bounds.

  10. Flyinthesky says:

    It all has the ubiquitous fluffy perspective so it is an easy sell.
    There is so much wealth being generated by this industry it is now near impossible to rationalise it.
    It has corporate enrichment and government taxation opportunities near beyond limit.
    The biggest wry smile to me is the green perspective, look how well we are doing at reducing our emissions. What they don’t say or maybe not even realise is we haven’t achieved any reduction at all. we still consume at the same rate, often more so, but we have exported the manufacturing east. People in the far east are emitting by proxy, our environmental contamination.
    It would be interesting for someone to do an analysis on how many Chinese lives are sacrificed in the production of one windmill and how many areas we have made uninhabitable by rare earth mining. Personnel in China are deemed disposable and consumable, are we ok with this.

  11. stewgreen says:

    Rog just in case you miss my reply on Climate Etc. to your point that Freedom of Speech means accepting being called “deniers”.
    – @Tallbloke The difference is that they get on the BBC unopposed to shout “DENIER” and so preload the debate. It’s a Equality of Opportunity point rather than FoS. They get the smear in without anyone to say “that’s just an ad hom here’s my point without an ad hom”.
    Context is everything : The blogosphere as a whole has EoO they can shout “deniers” on their blogs and we can shout “eco-nazis” on our blogs. But the public media is different, it’s neutral territory e.g. Chelsea FC would not be routinely allowed to use the label “the cheats” to mean opponents Arsenal FC.

  12. Just to clarify – Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) are an instrument specific to developing countries and born of the UNFCCC negotiations for developing countries to contribute to global mitigation efforts in line with national economic development.

  13. Why It's Not CO2 says:

    To those who genuinely want to understand planetary core and surface temperatures:

    At least within our Solar System we know that …

    (1) All planets and satellite moons have an effective radiating temperature that reduces with distance from the Sun.

    (2) All planets and satellite moons that have a significant atmosphere exhibit a troposphere in which temperatures increase downwards with a temperature gradient closely related to (and usually between 65% and 95% of) the quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases in that troposphere. Temperatures exceed the effective radiating temperature below a particular altitude.

    (3) However, solar radiation is attenuated as it enters the troposphere and so, at lower levels its intensity is often insufficient to raise the existing temperatures. Thus one might expect cooler temperatures at lower levels, not warmer ones.

    (4) Much, if not all of the energy required to maintain the temperature gradient (which is built from the top down, not the opposite) gets down there from regions that can be warmed by the Sun, and it is convective heat transfer that is the process which achieves this in accord with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, as explained here.

    (5) All planets and satellite moons have core temperatures well above the maximum temperatures at the base of their tropospheres or at their solid surfaces if any. It is the same thermodynamics working in solids and liquids which explains the temperature gradient and energy flows beneath any solid surface. Internal energy generation or long-term cooling off does not explain planetary core and surface temperatures, nor the temperature gradients and profiles which get down to the radiating temperature at just the right altitude. This is not a coincidence.

    Earth’s climate has nothing to do with carbon dioxide and its surface temperature cannot be explained with radiation calculations.

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