date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 08:08:51 BST
from: "Simon J Shackley" <mcysssjsatXYZxyz.sm.umist.ac.uk>
Dear Mike, Jonathan, Steve and John
I got a letter out last night responding to the climate change
strategy launched yesterday and faxed to some of the nationals.
Along with the letter I also sent a list of key contacts in different
areas for journalists to talk to from the Tydnall centre consortium.
I don't know if anything will come of these hurried efforts. Letter
is shown below. I signed the letter from myself and Jonathan - who I
did manageto talk to about it - and didn't feel comfortable adding
anyone else' name in case we were 'off message'. (Apologies if we've
stepped on anyones toes, etc.).
What I suggest is that we could do a more considered response today
drawing upon our collective expertise. (Document availabe on DETR
website under new items section). We could draw it up as a
one to two page press release, identifying some of the key issues we
feel are not properly dealt with, etc. The difficultly is going to
be to get newspapers to use material that is sometimes very complex
and doesn't come in easily digested news bites.
If this suggestion makes any sense, how about this as an allocation
1) Mike to do an extended bullet point on how much the reduction in
UK's emissions will actually influence climate change globally and
perhaps also in the EU? Also, on need for targets to be set beyond
2) Jonathan to do an extended bullet point on the emission
reductions proposed in different sectors / policies compared to
Cambridge and other studies. Are the government seriously
underestimating or overestimating potential for emission reductions
in particular areas? (this is in the chapter 9 of section II
'bringing it all together'). No doubt Steve could also say
something on this as well.
3) Steve to do an extended bullet point on how the government has
said it is proposing to deal with integration of different policies
so they work in synergy - not against one another - and problems with
this. This could include the bit in the letter about the electricity
grid (which I got from Nick Jenkins).
4) Steve to do an extended bullet point on the current debacle over
taxes, permits, negotiated agreements, exemptions, etc.
5) Simon to develop the point in the letter about the role
for regional responses. Also something on government's
approach to public involvement / particpation.
6) Abigail - do you want to do an extended bullet point on what the
transport part of the document says and its limitations?
7) Tom - to do an extended bullet point on potential for new forms of
low-carbon energy and whether government is doing enough to support.
8) John Shepherd - if he is around today - to have a go at editing
the different contributions.
In order for this to work, I'll need your contribution by, say,
3pm. I can then edit it (hopefully with John's help if he is
around between 4 and 5pm) and fax the nationals and sunday papers
Please can you let me know ASAP whether you will be able to
Letter to the Editor Thursday 9th March
The Government's Climate Change Draft UK Programme
The Climate Change Programme launched on 9th March is to be welcomed
but raises some thorny questions. The programme includes a target for
10% of our electricity to be supplied from renewable energy by 2010.
The companies which distribute the electricity to our homes and
workplaces are, however, responding to a contrary set of pressures
coming from the electricity regulator. The targets on electricity
prices they have recently been set do not allow for modification of
the electricity grid. Yet such modification will be necessary if 10%
of our electricity is from renewable energy. The recent removal of
the main support mechanism for the commercial development of renewable
sources of energy is also bad news for off-shore wind and 'energy
We also feel that much more could be achieved than the government
suggests on 'carbon trading' between companies. There are abundant and
cheap opportunities for reducing energy - and hence carbon -
consumption in the poorly insulated homes of the UK, yet the climate
change levy and trading is not applicable to the domestic sector. It
would make a lot of economic and environmental sense if companies
could invest in improving our housing stock whilst claiming some of
the credit on carbon reduction for themselves.
The government has also missed an opportunity in not identifying a
more active role for the new regional assemblies in England. Current
political difficulties over devolution aside, there is a huge amount
of work which can be done at the regional level in making society less
carbon-dependent and more prepared for climate change. The regional
assemblies can reach parts which Whitehall isn't even aware of.
Finally, it would have been inspirational for the government to have
provided a clear target for carbon emission reductions for the years
beyond 2010. Many scientists believe that we will have to reduce
carbon emissions by 60% or more by 2050. Why, then, not provide a
clear indication of where we are headed by 2020?
Dr Simon Shackley
Lecturer in Environmental Management and Policy
Manchester School of Management, UMIST
PO Box 88, Manchester, M60 1QD
tel: 0161 200 8781
fax: 0161 200 3505
mobile: 0771 280 8695