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?

Continue reading “Life at 2 degrees of warming”

COP27 and UK

Continue reading “COP27 and UK”

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.

Continue reading “COP27 and UK”

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;

Continue reading “Impacts of corruption debate and report launched by Baroness Jenny Jones”

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.

Continue reading “Energy Bill payback due from renewables”

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.

Continue reading “ASDA fails environment – where are the peat free alternatives?”

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. 

Incinerators are bad for climate change, health and recycling

There is no logical reason why you would want to replace the Edmonton Incinerator in North London, nor build any of the other 50 new waste incinerators that are in the planning pipeline at the moment.

Continue reading “Incinerators are bad for climate change, health and recycling”

We still need a ban on Fracking

I have tabled this amendment with a view to banning fracking once and for all. In doing so, I want to celebrate all the hard work of campaigners and activists across the country who delivered massive opposition against this dirty and dangerous polluting industry, often in the face of poor policy decisions by the Government and the fracking industry’s might-is-right attempts to quash them. In particular, I applaud the Preston New Road campaign in Lancashire. It was a thousand days of protest by the anti-fracking Nanas, a bunch of mainly older women led by Tina Rothery. They fought so hard in the face of well-financed and rather nasty, threatening behaviour by Cuadrilla. Continue reading “We still need a ban on Fracking”