Thursday, November 16, 2006

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is an international challenge; you can't just blame Blair!

Naive green campaigners calling for Britain to restrict flights or to close power stations such as Drax are seeking simplistic solutions to a spectacularly complex problem. Returning Britain to medieval levels of energy consumption, which is what the Green Party is, perhaps unwittingly, suggesting, would have a minimal effect on global levels of greenhouse gas but would lead to misery and millions of premature deaths.

There are some encouraging signs emerging within the EU. Today the Times reports on a proposal to impose charges on airlines that use European airports. This would be much more sensible that Britain taking unilateral action which would merely drive aircraft to other European airports. But, as the article makes clear, even this proposal won't be easy to implement.

Politics is difficult; joining a pressure group or fringe party is easy...