December 10th, 2004

UK meets Kyoto but will miss own targets significantly

The UK will miss the 20% reductions by 2010 target it set itself, by a wide margin. It'll still meet Kyoto with ease, due to carbon savings made, a significant percentage from moving from coal to gas power stations in the 90s. Kind of in the same situation as Germany then, which is also missing its own targets, but meeting Kyoto, who had the collapsed former-soviet industry in the DDR (East) to cut its figures. If we can't make the first easy 20% of cuts by 2010, how will we make the much harder 60-80% of cuts scientists say we need thereafter?

Dr Broecker, professor of geology at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who in the 1980s identified the world-wide "conveyor belt" of ocean currents which plays a key role in regulating the planet's climate has spoken out that Kyoto will not be enough, and much more radical change will be needed as well as ensuring that the new economies in India and China must not follow our carbon heavy path: "What you guys are tinkering around with in Kyoto is just a drop in the bucket."

Also of note is a column</a> from ex-minister Robin Cook. Although I have an issue with the cooling scenario, the majority opinion that I'm aware of so far is that the gulf stream is very unlikely to stop, and any cooling caused by it slowing or moving north will only compensate to temporarily slow any temperature increases caused by global warming in NW Europe, what he does get down very effectively is that missing our own set targets is completely beyond the point. Have a read.