More UK CO2 emissions

Speed limit crackdown to cut emissions says todays Grauniad. Who are they fooling? UK car drivers have grown to expect to be able to violate speeding laws on the motorway with impunity: it will take more guts than this government has to try to enfore them.

It was drawn up by Elliot Morley, minister for climate change (did you know we have a minister for cliamte change?) at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and is being discussed (read: watered down) by the cabinet committee on energy and the environment, which is expected to publish a revised (read: watered down) version early next year.

Marked restricted, the review document says: "The government needs to strengthen its domestic credibility on climate change (ah, they've noticed that have they? Good)...

The review lists 58 possible measures to save an extra 11m-14m tons of carbon pollution each year, which it calls the government's "carbon gap". One of the options, a new obligation to mix renewable biofuels into petrol for vehicles, was announced last week (that one seemed distinctly dodgy). Stricter enforcement of the 70 mph limit, the document says, would save 890,000 tons of carbon a year - more than the biofuels obligation and many other listed measures put together.

Andrew Howard of the AA Motoring Trust said: "They would have to win a lot of hearts and minds to convince the public that this wasn't just a revenue generating exercise. It also raises some big questions about whether speed enforcement for environmental rather than road safety reasons should be an offence for which motorists get points on their licence."

See? the usual suspects are piling in favour of the poor downtrodden motorists inalienable right to break the law.

But there is more, because Government sets out challenge for greener Britain contains various policy options and how much they would save. Of the "frontrunners" one is an order of magnitude bigger than the rest: Extend UK participation in EU carbon trading scheme (4.2). Now I may be doing them a disservice, but what I think (in fact I'm practically sure) they mean by this is, don't actually produce less CO2, but buy permits to emit it. Of the "emerging" category, the two biggest are Introduce ways to store carbon pollution underground (0.5-2.5) (i.e., don't produce any less, just...) and Force energy suppliers to use more offshore wind turbines (Up to 1). Which would actually save CO2. In the "difficult" category the biggest is Change road speed limits (1.7) - a surprisingly large number.

All in all, I think they would *like* to reduce our CO2 emissions but don't have the determination required to even seriously try to do it. Too many sound bites, too little action.


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