Government warned to kick fossil fuel habit to avoid worst climate impacts

The UK needs to kick its dependence on fossil fuels by dropping plans for new oil and gas licences and the new coal mine in Cumbria, Friends of the Earth said this morning.

Image: From North Sea Transition Authority video

The organisation was responding to a report by government advisors, which accused ministers of being too slow to react to the challenges of climate change.

Mike Childs, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, said the government must do “far more to prepare for the growing impacts of the fossil-fuel driven climate crisis”.

“Ministers must also act now to help avert the worst impacts of climate breakdown by kicking the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels and ditching ludicrous plans for a new coal mine in Cumbria, and oil and gas licences in the North Sea.

“Accelerating the transition to a cleaner, greener Britain will create long term jobs, bring down our energy bills and cut the harmful emissions fuelling climate change.”

Major investment needed

The report, by the Climate Change Committee (CCC), concluded that a major programme of investment was required for the UK to prepare for climate change. But the CCC said the government had not defined its priorities:

“That uncertainty is preventing progress on appraising the country’s investment needs and closing the adaptation gap.”

The CCC said about £10bn a year would need to be invested in preparation for flooding, future proofing infrastructure and housing, public water supply and nature restoration.

This figure could rise further with more dangerous levels of global temperature rise, the CCC said.

Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee at the CCC, said:

“Our last major assessment of the UK’s climate risk found that climate impacts have increased in the UK but that actions to prepare us are not keeping pace.

“It is no secret that the UK is now experiencing a range of damaging consequences of climate change, but adaptation in the UK remains chronically underfunded and overlooked. This must change.”

The CCC said investment in climate resilience would reduce future economic damage caused by floods and heatwaves and could enhance growth and improve the sustainability of public finances.

It called for regulated industries, such as rail and water, to have updated mandates to increase investment in climate defences. The climate risk must be integrated into economic and financial decision-making, the CCC said.

The government is due to publish its next National Adaptation Programme in summer 2023. This should set out a vision of what a well-adapted UK would be like, the CCC said.

21 replies »

  1. It is not new E-G.

    How about the advice to go to diesel vehicles some years ago? Then it was not a factor to consider and rectify, it would appear, that UK imports much of our diesel, with a lot being produced by Russia.

    So, now diesel is over 20p/liter more expensive than petrol, impacting many private motorists and everyone else as most distribution is still by diesel! Then, if that was not enough Labour mayors then decide to impose another daily cost upon those wanting to travel into their cities to work, even though they were following the advice to do what was proposed as the right thing!

    With such a history, I would not trust them anywhere near an energy policy. With such a history, why on earth does media bother to quote them as if they had any competence? Bit like quoting Vlad the Impaler as being an expert on forestry renewal, just because he wanted to make out he was!

  2. “Bit like quoting Vlad the Impaler as being an expert on forestry renewal, just because he wanted to make out he was!”…….. or letting Tory venality anywhere near the NHS, our education service, our care service, our fire service, our immigration policy, our housing policies, our energy policy, our commitment to net zero, our global heating policies, our judiciary, our economy, our fiscal policy, anywhere in fact where humanity, commitment, integrity and competence might be required, where actions speak louder than words, where lying to colleagues and the governed is seen as shameful, where cronyism is unacceptable.
    I suspect most of us know who to bet on next time round. We may be disappointed, I hope not, but when you can sink no lower you clutch at straws. I think I’ll go for Vlad and try to talk some sense into him.

  3. Ahh, with a history of nonsense energy policy then all else will be divorced from a nonsense energy policy!


    Nonsense energy policies create a financial drag on everyone, every business and every public service. But not to worry, as in this fantasy world wars will be wished away so all that money spent on security can be redirected, and my unicorns may be able to dance upon my lawn, and not even bows and arrows will be needed.

    Yes, have a go at talking some sense, 1720. Maybe continue with whether HMG campaigned to leave the EU, then what a fact is, maybe why companies would continue to produce what they lost in export business and if all that failed, then your specialty of getting information from the deceased. LOL, history is better ignored when sense is concerned!

    Bit of a divergence there, 1720, from the subject of energy policies. I don’t think much of the Tory one either, but that doesn’t alter the fact (look it up, it was in the past and happened) that Labour have a pretty dismal history regarding energy policy. Don’t get me going on the Lib Dem policy, if one exists, although much more likely to be all things to all voters.

  4. it really doesn’t matter what the UK does or doesn’t do, we could reach net zero tomorrow and it wouldn’t make a jot of difference to climate change unless and until Russia, China, Australia, India, etc make serious changes to their power generation. All these misguided people protesting against UK onshore, offshore, throwing soup on paintings, they just don’t get it.

    • exactly – UK could sink under the sea and it make no difference to climate change net zero – because of the Americas and Asia

  5. exactly-as today coal fired power is back on stand by in UK! Good job UK has plenty of that-except that is glued stuck under ground. Whilst a lady is chuffed to bits she had 31p knocked off her energy bill as she switched things off.

    Going well, isn’t it??!! Who would have thought that high pressure was a winter feature that dictates low winds, just when energy is in demand? Certainly not our politicians, it would appear.

    Remember Britishvolt? About to be re-incarnated as Aussivolt, it would appear. It might have been Norvolt. Good old UK, exporting lots of dosh for such countries to re-invest back into UK and export some more dosh!

  6. We are fortunate that arguments such as those of nom de plume and Bruce Fox did not prevail when Britain decided to honour its obligations to Poland in 1939, integrity (and of course self-interest) prevailing rather than arguments concerning the futility of declaring war should the USA and USSR not do the same.
    On that occasion the self-interest and mendacity of the aggressor was met with a response for which we are now grateful.

  7. History is really not your strong point is it, 1720?

    In 1939 UK was a much stronger military power than either USA or Russia, and also had the Commonwealth nations who were then part of the Empire, with their armed forces, resources, and large populations to call upon. It also had a great deal of coal being mined and a navy that was able to defend shipping, which it had a lot of, to bring in oil. At great cost, but ultimately successful. Then, there were the US oil drillers who were brought over to help extract UK on shore oil. Can you see where this is heading yet, 1720? You wanted to go there, but it makes me wonder why.

    UK could always send a gunboat now-except very few and many of those broken or unable to fully function. So, can always virtue signal and pretend that will influence anyone? Unfortunately, others are better at arithmetic than yourself, 1720, so no chance. Even our friends across the pond have cause to note the arithmetic is shy of the rhetoric, and have stated as much recently.

    Today, the arithmetic seems to show that energy independence is directly linked to a country’s ability to defend itself, or rely upon others who enjoy that to do it for them. Your answer? There will be no need to! Similar to some other voices around the 1930’s. Did that go well? The rest of us must hope that there is some common sense somewhere and lessons are remembered.

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