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A view from the West

Featuring food, fuel and the future in Jersey

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New UK CO2 emissions targets

The Committee on Climate Change has called for the UK to make C02 emissions reduction of 80% by 2050, a
nd to include aviation and shipping in their figures.  This committee is not a coalition of climate change campaigners, it's a formal part of the UK government Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) . See http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/uk/legislation/committee/index.htm

They said that the target is achievable at an affordable cost of between 1-2% of GDP in 2050.  Bearing in mind what effect the credit crunch and the latest financial turmoil and the prospect of recession are having on the economy, you have to ask, wouldn't it have been so much less painful if we had started to do this seriously then we first signed up to Kyoto?

There is one part of their commentary that I think is mistaken. "But we have the potential to reduce our emissions by 80% or more by using energy far more efficiently, by investing in developing new energy sources and by making relatively minor lifestyle changes."  I am sure it is factually true, but it is not the best approach.  If we think a bit more holistically , making lifstyle changes is an effective way to make change, not just on carbon dioxide emissions, but also on waste, health, and community too.

In case you are wondering, our C02 reduction target locally is 60% by 2050 according to the  "Keeping Jersey Special" material.  Of course that is backdated to just before decommisiosning the old powerstation, and doesn't include air transport.  Not really in the same league as the UK commitment is it? We hear 'world class', and 'iconic' being used about all sorts of building and development schemes by our ministers, so where is a our world leading climate change strategy?