Azara Blog: The UK will allegedly miss its carbon emission targets

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Date published: 2011/09/16

The BBC says:

The UK is set to miss climate change targets it is legally bound to meet, according to an independent analysis.

Cambridge Econometrics says the UK will narrowly miss carbon budgets up to 2017, and by bigger margins after that.

The government is legally bound to keep emissions within its carbon budgets.

The first and most important problem is that the way the UK calculates its carbon budget is completely bogus, because it ignores carbon embedded in imports. So one of the reasons the UK has done so well "reducing" its carbon emissions is because it has exported them to China.

Ignoring that issue, the most interesting aspect of missing the budget is that the UK is allegedly "legally bound" to meet the targets. Will current or past UK cabinet ministers and senior civil servants be put in prison for failing (that is what should happen)? Or will the UK shut down (say) coal power stations in December and let the lights go out in the middle of winter, to hit the targets? Or will UK politicians come to their senses and ditch this silly law? The BBC unfortunately completely fails to analyse the situation.

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