Claire's blog

Time to defend UK wind energy

At the Campaign against Climate Change, we are currently supporting not one but two petitions to stop the government blocking wind energy projects that have already had local approval. Yes, that's right: blocking wind energy projects that have already had local approval.

That these petitions are necessary is mind-boggling. We all know that we are no longer in the days of 'greenest government ever' rhetoric. But you might have thought that the IPCC's recent dire warnings would have caused a moment's reflection, a touch of unease as to whether this is an appropriate response to the crisis facing humanity... apparently not.

The first petition, set up by Dan Grierson and hosted by 38 Degrees, refers to the Conservative Party's intended manifesto pledge to ban new onshore windfarms from 2020. The argument that they are doing this because wind farms are "unpopular" is a fascinating one, given the party's gung-ho support for fracking, a far less popular technology. DECC's most recent figures show a record 70% support for onshore wind, compared to 12% opposition.

IPCC WG3 - it's decision time for the UK and for the world

Last year, the IPCC produced a report on the science of climate change: it's here, it's because of us and it's set to change our planet fundamentally.

Then last month came the second report, on the impacts of climate change: serious consequences for people around the world even if we curb our emissions to keep warming to around 2C.

Now, the third report sets out a challenge for the world. If we act now, we can step off the path we are on, which would mean up to 5C of warming by the end of this century.

IPCC report shows futility of 'adaptation' rhetoric

There are few, now, who would argue that climate change is not happening. But this denial has been replaced by a dangerous rhetoric: that it will all be ok because we can 'adapt' and, by implication, we don't have to worry too much about cutting our carbon dioxide emissions.

This complacency is hardly very convincing even in the coastal communities and flood plains of Britain. From Bangladesh, a country at sea level where some of the world's poorest already face homes lost to flooding, farmland poisoned by salination and drinking water contamined, it must seem like cruel mockery.

The IPCC's latest report should shatter once and for all the myth that adaptation to climate change could be enough on its own. Adaptation is necessary, of course - but alone it is the equivalent of the proverbial deckchairs on the Titanic. 

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