The cost of not going Net Zero

My next oral question is on February 8th, when I ask:

“Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb to ask His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) Cost of Not Net Zero in 2022, published on 30 December 2022; and in particular, the finding that the delay in switching to renewables and improving energy efficiency resulted in some households paying around £,1750 extra on their bills last year.”

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Life at 2 degrees of warming

COP27 failed to make progress on reducing emissions and the awful reality is that our current economic and political system can’t deliver the necessary change, quickly enough. So have you started wondering how everyday life is going to change in the next ten years due to the climate emergency? It is a timescale that many of us can grasp. My grandchildren will be in their late twenties and I will be retired and struggling to keep the allotment in shape. What will your life be like and what will be the new normal?

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COP27 and UK

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I can understand why many people around the world will be scratching their heads at Rishi Sunak’s screeching U-turn over his attendance at COP27. In one year, we have gone from Boris Johnson, as PM, putting out the welcome mat at COP26, to a country that is handing out new gas/oil licences and refusing to join the rest of Europe in urging the public to use less energy. While EU countries bring forward their medium-term targets for reducing reliance on fossil fuels, the UK government is not only off track for meeting its targets but is actively doing what it can to inject new life into the oil/gas sector.

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Impacts of corruption debate and report launched by Baroness Jenny Jones

A debate on the impacts of corruption is being held in the House of Lords today at 3pm, in the Grand Committee. Baroness Jenny Jones will use it to launch her new report on corruption in the UK.

Her speech and the report aim to highlight three aspects of corruption:

·       It impacts upon government policy, regulations and priorities and not just individual contracts or licences

·       It’s often about corporate interests, as well as personal greed;

·      There is rarely a visible trail of evidence as it facilitated by a tight network of interpersonal relationships;

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Energy Bill payback due from renewables

Renewables are due to start paying back money to consumers this month, as the cost of producing energy from wind and solar drops well below the cost of energy bills. The figures on how much is cut from bills will be announced every quarter, with a small change growing into a more significant sum as the price cap rises in October and the new year.

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ASDA fails environment – where are the peat free alternatives?

This government is investing a lot of taxpayer money to restore peatlands in this country, while allowing supermarkets and garden centres to make a big profit out of the destruction of peatlands. People within government clearly want to do the right thing, but not if it gets in the way of corporate greed.

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Working to ‘climate proof’ Parliament’s pension fund

I recently chaired an online seminar of Parliamentarians to discuss whether the pension fund for MPs and Ministers should dump all its remaining holdings in fossil fuels. If you have a pension then it is worth asking the same kind of questions about how your money is being used.

To contain global heating to 1.5°C as outlined by the Paris Agreement, the International Panel on Climate Change have specified that global greenhouse emissions levels must be halved by 2030, followed by continued marked reductions to reach ‘net zero’ global emissions by the middle of the century.

Much of the debate within the pension industry has been about using shareholder power to nudge the fossil fuel producers towards investment in renewables. My job as chair was to nudge the discussion towards dumping all pension fund investments in fossil fuels and to influence the industries that still use fossil fuels to switch urgently to alternatives.

The UN states that for a 1.5°C-consistent pathway, the world will need to decrease fossil fuel production by roughly 6% per year between 2020 and 2030. Indeed, if we are to have any hope of avoiding ecological tipping points then we must reduce production, with half of the world’s largest listed oil and gas companies facing cuts of 50% or more by the 2030’s.

Big reductions in oil and gas are going to hit share prices, so it is far safer to get out of them now and focus investments in those industries that will prosper as part of a new green deal.