Blair: fossil fool

Posted by bex — 6 February 2007 at 3:59pm - Comments

Greenpeace volunteers tip four tonnes of coal on government's doorstep

The world's top climate scientists have this morning released their latest report on the science of global warming. Their verdict: the world is on the verge of climate catastrophe.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report says that continuing business-as-usual practices is likely to lead to more droughts, heatwaves, floods and stronger hurricanes, rapid melting of ice-sheets and rapidly rising sea levels.

The clear message to governments is that the window for action is narrowing fast, and global emissions must peak before 2020 and start to come down rapidly thereafter if we are to have a reasonable chance to keep global mean temperature rise to less than 2 degrees centigrade compared to pre-industrial levels.

Yet, despite these conclusions, Blair is ushering in a new generation of coal fired power stations on the UK, which will still be pumping out greenhouse gases in 50 years' time!

So, this morning, a truck daubed with "BLAIR DUMPS CLIMATE" tipped four tonnes of coal on DEFRA's doorstep, to expose this government's failure to act on climate change.

By supporting coal and sidelining the real solutions to climate change, Blair is consigning the UK to climate failure. Carbon dioxide emissions have risen by almost six million tonnes under Blair - primarily because of an increase in the use of coal in our power stations, as well as an increase in emissions from cars and planes. And these emissions are still on the up.

Because Blair has made coal cheaper to burn than the less polluting natural gas, he has encouraged a wave of applications from energy companies to build brand new coal fired power stations - the first new applications in 20 years. These power plants would be the nail in the coffin for the UK's attempts to stop catastrophic climate change.

"Blair has presided over an increase in CO2 emissions from coal-burning, aviation and road transport," says Greenpeace climate campaigner Jim Footner. "And as if that wasn't enough to wreck the planet, he now plans to dump new coal fired power stations on the UK."

Blair's legacy will be a compromised climate.

But, as our activists in Paris this week said, "it's not too late". We're on the brink but we can pull back - if we act decisively and meaningfully now.

We're campaigning for an overhaul of the UK's outdated and inefficient energy system. Localised - or decentralised - energy is much more efficient than our current centralised system, and is already working in a number of European countries. In the UK, Woking Council has reduced its carbon footprint by 77 per cent through decentralised technologies.

Instead of dumping the climate, Blair needs to make way for a genuine leader who will implement the real solutions to the climate crisis - decentralised energy.

Key facts from our new dossier - 10 years of hot air:

  • For the first time in twenty years proposals for new inefficient coal-fired power stations are being submitted by power companies in the UK.

  • The use of coal for electricity generation has gone up from 47.3 to 52.5 million tonnes a year under Labour.

  • CO2 emissions in 2005 were only 6.4 per cent below 1990 levels, way off the government's target of a 20 per cent cut by 2010.

  • Blair's boast that the UK is set to meet and exceed its Kyoto target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is mainly due to the policies of previous Conservative administrations which made the 'dash' from coal to gas. The Kyoto target was all but met when Labour took office.

  • C02 emissions - the main greenhouse gas - have risen since Blair came to power in 1997, from 548.4 million tonnes per year to 554.2 million tonnes in 2005.

  • Blair claims the UK is only responsible for 2% of global emissions. In reality transferral of the UK's manufacturing base to China - the world's most energy inefficient manufacturing nation - has led Britain to, in effect, export its emissions. We are also the world's 7th largest emitter, more than 112 of the world's smallest emitting nations combined.

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