50% Emissions Cuts by 2027

So a cut of 50% based on 1990s emissions by 2027, that’s 16 years from now.

The graph shows the emissions reductions as we approach the 2020 target of a 20% reduction, the provisional figures for 2010 are almost certainly due to the recession which will be  replicated in 2011.

But, I do wonder how much of these emissions reductions are due to the export of industry to China and how much to increased efficiency and the use of renewable energy.

Certainly, while we have boosted the numbers of wind turbines and solar panels, these only represent perhaps 1 or 2 % of generated electricity, the headline figures of a 100MW wind farm realistically equating to maybe 20MW actually generated.  Solar panels  don’t yet make much of an impact.

Emisions are indicated as coming down, but is that because we are doing good things or simply moving our factories abroad?

What is clear is that the emissions reductions are almost certainly down to the shifting of industry to other countries, potentially with a higher level of emissions due to lowered efficiency.

Where the consumption of lets say a “tyre” for a car might have cost .2 tonnes of carbon where it was made in the UK, that tyre made in China and with the electricity generated from a coal power plant, equates to .3 tonnes, then it has to be shipped round the world (though perhaps we have saved some of the raw material shipping costs?).

So, there is more carbon in the form of CO2 generated but Britain claims a reduction!

Its the same as carbon offsetting or perhaps nearer the knuckle, getting somebody to accept a speeding fine so you can retain a clean licence?

To have any chance of showing an honest reduction in CO2, the 1st thing DECC needs to do is totally review the way Britain’s contribution to Global CO2 production is counted. Not based on what is generated in the UK, but what is gereated as a result of UK consumption of goods and services.

On the plus side this means we can remove the carbon associated with exports, but add those associated with imports. What about shipping and international travel ?

Do an honest measure and we might find that CO2 production that is attributed to the UK  has gone up since 1990. I think this is the more likely outcome.

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Wasted Wood

One of the websites that I maintain is www.renewables-map.co.uk. This is a log of all the major renewable energy projects in the UK, generally anything over 1Mw. One area I cover is biomass, I see projects that will result in millions of tonnes of wood being shipped to the UK to be burnt. 

While biomass is certainly renewable energy in that it has a sort of closed loop, trees grow, they get cut, burnt, more trees grow and suck the CO2 out of the air to be burnt again. I do wonder if lareg swathes of forest are being cut down and burnt to allow for fast growing plantations that disturb the soil and overall release far more CO2 than will ever be saved using the biomass ‘loop’.

While developing these huge schemes, chopping down and shipping forests across the Atlantic we are in the meantime ignoring huge volumes of biomass that is burnt as waste.

Ever seen a tree culled from the roadside? That tree is effectively the same wood as is being shipped across the Atlantic, but rather than being used as free fuel, it will be classed as a waste product and must be disposed of. Out in rural areas most likley on a semi legal bonfire, it might end up as landfill at best it is chipped and used as compost.

While we can’t power Britain by using offcusts from the hedge rows, surely we can divert the wood into the biomass fuel cycle and give it a use and value rather than treating it as a waste product  which has a cost.

Too difficult? Not at all, just a function of organisation and management. I can envisage a series of waste wood yards collecting biomass. Define what consitutes biomass and pay for it. Not so much that we have thieves stealing wood, but enough to cover the legitimate users fuel costs in getting it there.  The biomass plants can then have a single local source of fuel to augment their existing supplies.

The EU is Bottling out of its CO2 Reduction Commitment!

The EU is about to anounce that half of the commitment to reduce emissions by 20% by 2020 can be made up with carbon offsets!

Shame on the EU and its constituant governments, all those fine words devoted to showing how committed they were to the environment and the future of the planet, our children’s future seem to be for nothing!

It seems that rather than have a policy that states “We will have a 20% cut in Emissions by 2020” What they are now going to say is “We are going to give some money to some 3rd world country and ask them to promise not to emit too much CO2”. Then all we have to do is cut emissions by 10%, which is an easier number to lie about and then claim its 20% becuase we think our voters are stupid enough to believe us!

So, rather than actually doing what they had committed to, they are going to set up some administrative smoke and mirrors where they can claim to have cut emissions while feeding our taxpayers money to some tin pot corrupt dictator.

Shame on the lot of them!

From the bbc “Stavros Dimas told BBC News that governments should be able to achieve more than half of their target carbon cuts by paying developing countries to invest in clean energy projects on their behalf.”

Can you imagine the likes of Churchill in 1940 saying, “well, its a bit awkward fighting the Nazi’s at the moment, we’ll promise not to fight them for a bit, if they do likewise.”   And then returning with a piece of paper?

We need brave peope leading us, not this gutless rabble!

See: My comments on Carbon Offsetting – bbc Money Box

Report on corruption within the UN’s Carbon Offsetting programme

Is Your Couch a Carbon Offset?