The intentions of the leading UK political parties regarding Climate Change, Energy transition and Air Quality in their 2017 manifestos are investigated. Includes an update on 10th June on the DUP manifesto. More
Bringing the Paris Agreement into Force at Marrakesh
CLICK HERE FOR THE RUNNING TOTALS OF PARTIES THAT HAVE RATIFIED
Update 5th Oct: Sufficient ratifications were received (including the overall EU) for the Paris Agreement to come into force on 4th Nov in time for the COP22 in Marrakesh. See here for UN announcement and here for EU announcement.
Major emitters, including the USA and China, have shown leadership by ratifying the Agreement and the EU has shown leadership in ratifying as an overarching Party. Concerns about President Trump trying to dismantle the Agreement were added to the saga when the American election followed only days after the Agreement came into force.
Update. Boris Johnson ratified the Agreement on behalf of the UK on 17th Nov 2016. The UK Youth Climate Coalition met with the UK representative, Nick Hurd, at COP22 in Marrakesh on the same day and and urged him to align UK emissions targets with 1.5C. More
Whilst the UK slips away from the EU efforts to protect the planet, the world continues to turn and global warming continues to go up and up, wreaking the devastation predicted.
The EU has been co-ordinating pledges across the 28 members, providing grants, loans, shared research and common standards. Now the UK (and/or England, Scotland, N Ireland and Wales separately) must now write, or rewrite mountains of legislation taking years, using hundreds of bureaucrats and most of parliamentary attention. The Centre for European Reform in July 2016 identified 6 interlocking sets of negotiations before we have slipped anchor:
- “One set of talks will cover Britain’s legal separation from the EU”
- “the second a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU”
- “the third interim cover for the UK between its departure from the EU and the entry into force of the FTA”
- “the fourth accession to full membership of the WTO“
- “the sixth co-operation on foreign, defence and security policies.”
And will legislation protecting our Air and reducing our carbon emissions be ‘highly ambitious’ or forgotten?
Carbon emissions and air pollution know no boundaries and actions by the biggest emitters – India and China and the USA will make the most difference. The UK is small and people will say that our contribution is unimportant. But our future relies on innovation and influence. If we allow Climate Change to be shelved until a convenient time other countries may follow our lead. If we co-operate across borders and unleash the best of our innovation and entrepreneurship we can make a difference.
The UK in a Brexit world goes through some of the EU legislation that must be undone/redone and has information about the UK’s formal commitments and reliance on EU financial services to combat Climate Change.
Brexit: What does it mean for the environment? Click here for a podcast of this Castle talk of 26th Sept 2016.
In all the hype and overload of ‘facts’ about the EU there seems little coverage of Climate Change and Air Pollution. Detailed lists of some of the activities and effects of EU legislation eg on Air Pollution are covered at WHAT ARE WE DOING – What is the EU Doing?.
For those who believe that our current transport, energy and agriculture choices are causing the greatest threat to humans ever, talking about trade, jobs, immigrants and even wars – but not Climate Change or Environmental implications – just seems weird.
Friends of the Earth lists the environmental topics of Beaches, Bees, Nature, Waste&Recycling, Green Energy, Air Quality and Fish, concluding that the EU has had significant beneficial effects.
What will happen on many issues if we stay IN or if we come OUT is largely speculation, but the effects of poor leadership and regulation on the causes of Climate Change are becoming increasingly clear – and many of the causes of Climate Change are also the causes of our Air Pollution.
Sources: Map from May 2012 BBC report, pictures from election material
The new London Mayor will have a variety of powers that would help him/her clean our polluted air and lower our carbon emissions. Many powers are ‘soft’ ones such as ‘influence’ and ‘promotion’, but they also include the power of £11.5bn expenditure (p21 of the draft GLA 2016/17 budget being prepared for the new Mayor). Apart from (limited) powers over areas such as Transport and Planning the Mayor will be constrained by UK, EU powers and existing agreements and the candidates can only state their aspirations and ideas at this point, to try to convince London voters that they are the best candidate. The winner will have to try to turn rhetoric into results by dint of their limited powers, their procurement muscle and their leadership and influence skills .
This post has samples from the public domain of statements and promises from the four frontrunners Sian Berry – Green; Zac Goldsmith – Conservative; Sadiq Khan – Labour and Caroline Pidgeon – LibDem, regarding Global Warming and Climate Change; Renewables and Community Energy and Low Pollution Transport. It also has responses to Greenpeace’s questions to the Mayoral candidates at Sadiq Khan, Zac Goldsmith, Caroline Pidgeon..
A summary transcript of the Green Alliance’s Green Hustings. (1hr 34mins) is also included at More.