News that the COP 25 meeting in Madrid ended in a not very satisfactory compromise doesn’t exactly fill me with hope that the world’s leaders have really got a grip of how serious the “climate emergency” really is.
The Aberdeen-based Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) is setting up a unit called the Net Zero Solution Centre with the aim of “accelerating technologies and their deployment” and helping turn the UKCS into the world’s first net-zero carbon basin.
If you’ve read the report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) entitled “Net Zero: The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming” then I hope you’re both as impressed with it as I am, but also horrified.
When a politician, someone from a trade body or anyone else with a vested interest fails to tell the public the truth about how well an industry is actually doing, they are not only doing themselves a disservice, but are damaging the prospects of that industry.
The recent announcement by the Scottish Government of their ideas for Scotland’s economic future certainly got my attention. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in a speech just prior to the announcement that she believed that Scotland had to lead the “key technological and social changes of the future”. Significantly, she added that she wants Scotland to be “the inventor and producer of the innovations that will shape the future, not just a consumer of those innovations”.
Four years ago I wrote a position paper on “Future Fuels” for the Scottish Government’s Energy Advisory Board of which I am a member. One element of that paper included a proposal that Scotland should look at using bio-kerosene produced from a plant called Camelina as a bio heating oil.
Our national broadcaster ran a headline recently that said “UK car manufacturing hits 10-year high in 2015”. Other outlets said similar things and one included some comment about the fact that Jaguar Land Rover was now outperforming Nissan.
I find it impossible to feel anything but raw anger towards the Westminster Conservative Government’s policy on renewables and energy policy in general. Here is a government stating on the one hand that the country has to support the “makers” and export more yet on the other effectively stamping out a globally important growth industry with huge potential.
So far, Cameron & Co have scrapped or dramatically reduced support for onshore wind, solar, biomass, the Green Homes scheme, is selling the Green Investment Bank, has done away with the policy of building Zero Carbon Homes, reduced the incentive to move to lower emission vehicles and, of course, decided that the Climate Change Levy, which had been restricted to providers of non-renewable energy to businesses, will be imposed on renewable energy providers as well.