The UK Government and Climate Change
- The Department of Energy Security
- Committee on Climate Change discounts important science
- Can DEFRA be trusted with the climate?
The European Commission on Climate Change
The European Commission is relying too heavily on “the considered opinion of the IPCC”.
Last year, I received a reply from their Directorate International and Climate Strategy. This said:
When making judgements about individual pieces of research we defer to the considered opinion of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), which brings together thousands of experts globally to review all the relevant scientific literature. For any comprehensive re-evaluation of climate change research, we will rely on IPCC review processes and in particular the upcoming Fifth Assessment Report. We are actively engaged with these processes which will produce new comprehensive climate assessments in the coming years.
Recently, I received a reply from John Mitchell, Principal Research Fellow at the Hadley Centre which produces climate models used in the IPCC Assessment Reports. I had asked him about the current state of climate models with regard to predicted feedback effects. Three of these feedbacks do not seem to be in the climate models that will be ready for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. They are:
- Increased decomposition of wetlands
- Melting permafrost (emitting CO2 and CH4)
- More forest fires
It goes without saying that these feedbacks were not present in the Fourth Assessment Report, on which the Commission currently relies. Other than the theoretical difficulties such as missing feedbacks, there are more reasons why the sole source of information on climate should not be IPCC Assessment Reports e.g.
- The reports are several years out-of-date.
- Predictions in these reports have underestimated the pace of climate change.
- As an “intergovernmental” panel the IPCC has pressures to “alter the wording”.
Tax carbon subsidise jobs – especially the young
In the latest Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary Allan et. al. say:
Against this background, it seems natural to consider the possibility of a Scottish-specific carbon tax…. Such a tax is focused on the “bad” of emissions directly and if implemented in a fiscally neutral way offers the potential of a double dividend if the revenues are used to subsidise (or more realistically reduce the tax on) the “good” of employment. Our simulations demonstrate that a carbon tax could simultaneously stimulate employment while reducing emissions: the double dividend.
Furthermore, in current circumstances, it may be thought desirable to focus the good news by recycling revenues to subsidise employment among the younger age groups who have been most adversely impacted by the recession and its aftermath.
Let’s hope the Scottish Government listen.
The latest Fraser Economic Commentary can be found here – this is a temporary location. It is not yet on the FOA site.
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