TEQs update - 24 May 2011 - Meeting the Committee on Clim...

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Shaun Chamberlin
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:28 pm
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TEQs update - 24 May 2011 - Meeting the Committee on Clim...

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Meeting the Committee on Climate Change and presenting in Hungarian!

As those who follow UK climate policy will be aware, the big news this month has been the Government's decision on whether or not to accept the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC)'s advice on national carbon targets. For the first time, there were Ministerial objections to adopting their recommendations, but in the end they agreed to sign up to the headline 50% reduction in emissions (compared to 1990) by 2025. This is good news, but underneath the headlines there are three significant shortcomings:

i) They did not accept the CCC's advice to tighten the budgets for the coming years 2013-2023, making the speed of emissions reductions incumbent on future Governments very challenging indeed.

ii) Most of the emissions are likely to simply be 'outsourced', rather than actually reduced. The Government are still yet to do anything to include responsibility for the emissions caused by the manufacture of goods abroad for consumption here, and they also "intend to keep (their) carbon trading options open to maintain maximum flexibility and minimise costs in the medium term". In other words, if they can't reduce emissions in the UK they will pay someone else to, via offset credits in the flawed international carbon trading markets. This is, again, ignoring the CCC's recommendations.

iii) And of course the big one - they don't actually know how to achieve these budgets. Prof. Paul Ekins' Cambridge Econometrics have produced the most recent of many reports showing that existing policies will not suffice to achieve current targets. And the CCC have emphasised repeatedly that the current targets represent an "absolute minimum level of ambition" when considered in the light of the climate science. This is of course where TEQs come in, making both current climate targets and tighter future ones achievable.

With all this going on, it was very interesting to give a presentation on TEQs to the CCC secretariat the day after their headline targets were accepted, at the invitation of their Chief Economist. It was very well-received, and they could see the importance of the scheme for implementing the targets that they are responsible for setting. They also offered some useful advice on engaging with the Department on Energy and Climate Change, in the ongoing drive for a full feasibility study into TEQs.

Meanwhile, the video of my talk at January's Parliamentary report launch was shown at a conference in Budapest, Hungary the day before, and I took a Q&A session by phone. As the conference was discussing the need to limit resource use, I'm told that the format was well-received as an alternative to travelling out there in person, and that it is being considered now for future presentations. As an unexpected fringe benefit, the Youtube video of my talk now features the option for Hungarian subtitles! (click the "CC" icon just below the video)

In other international news, we are now in discussions with a few possible sites for a local trial of TEQs. This will be aimed not at demonstrating the effectiveness of the scheme (which is in many ways adapted to a national scale), but rather at demonstrating the feasibility of an effective technical implementation at far lower costs than were estimated in the DEFRA pre-feasibility study.

There are also now campaigners in France working on TEQs, who have a website (in French, including translations of a number of our documents) at:

Finally, big thanks to the many who responded to my previous post with interest in becoming a TEQs ambassador. An email will follow for those individuals.

Thanks, as ever, for all your support and encouragement,
Shaun Chamberlin
TEQs Development Director
The Lean Economy Connection

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