A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

At last, a Europolitician grasps Kyoto economic realities..... and further G8 woes

In a mighty blow to the forthcoming G8 Summit, and to European unity on energy policy and 'global warming', Germany's forceful Angela Merkel, powerful candidate for the Chancellorship of Germany, breaks ranks: 'Merkel kÞndigt energiepolitische Wende an' (Financial Times Deutschland, June 8). Here is a translation, courtesy of the excellent Dr. Benny Peiser:
"Angela Merkel, the chancellor candidate of Germany's conservative party, announced a radical change in Germany's energy policy in the event of an election victory. She plans to ease significantly restrictions on power station operators and the energy industry.

'There will be significant corrections, if we receive the confidence of the popular vote', Merkel said on Wednesday in Berlin. The high energy prices have became a 'growth risk' for the German economy. Among other things, Merkel promised to reduce the burden posed by the eco-tax.

The boss of the CDU wants to correct substantial projects of the red-green energy policy on emission trading, nuclear energy, climate change and the promotion of renewable energies. Above all, the operators of coal and nuclear power stations would profit most from such changes.

Kyoto Protocol on the test stand

In addition, Merkel plans to scrutinise the targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions set by the Kyoto Protocol: 'We need a Kyoto plus.' The US, who do not want to limit their emissions, would have to be included. According to Merkel, the red-green plans for stricter targets of the emission trade starting from 2008 would be also changed. Only Germany and Great Britain have committed themselves to lower their greenhouse gas output in this context. This, however, represents a competitive disadvantage. 'National politics are not the correct answer to globalisation and global challenges,' said Merkel with view to CO2 emissions in developing countries...."

And then there is this on Blair, Bush, and climate change, which I believe is part of the transcript of last evening's Newsnight (Susan Watts, Science Editor, BBC 2 Newsnight, June 8):
"I'm told it didn't go well last night. Whatever track Tony Blair
decided to try to shift President Bush, it didn't succeed. In fact,
I understand the mood in No. 10 this morning was one of bitter
disappointment. They are disappointed not only about the content
of what President Bush has said but about the language he is using.
He wouldn't even use the phrase 'climate change'. There is no sense
that he signed up to any urgency on this. And in fact, the people
now tasked with picking up the pieces between now and Gleneagles
are feeling very daunted by this."

"The danger is that the Government oversells what they got out of
the Americans. In fact, there is discussion now about actually
pulling away from the G8, admitting that we haven't got what we
wanted rather than try to sell this as something it really isn't."

Philip, all totally to be expected. And if the nonsense over climate change damages the economies of the rich countries, we will never be able to help Africa out of its terrible plight. Clean water, energy, and free trade remain the key priorities for the developing world.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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