Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to Bloomberg, despite obvious indications Londoners are fed up, London hasn’t tried hard enough to reduce CO2 emissions to earn a pass from further Extinction Rebellion disruption.
Extinction Rebellion Is Right to Target London
Andrea Leadsom shouldn’t be so complacent about the U.K.’s performance on climate change. The recent data have been troubling.
By Lara Williams
18 October 2019, 16:30 GMT+10
London’s Extinction Rebellion, the undeniably effective local offshoot of the global environmental protest group, has been out in force again this week, shutting down streets in the financial district and disrupting flights from City Airport. Its so-called Autumn Uprising has led to more than 1,600 arrests, and provoked some very angry commuters. People from Greta Thunberg to Stanley Johnson, the British prime minister’s dad, have lent their support.
This year the U.K. became the first major economy to legislate a commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. It has also made great strides in the past few decades in slashing carbon emissions — by 42% since 1990.
These are welcome developments, but the future is starting to look a little dim. The government’s own projections have the U.K. missing its 2023 and 2028 carbon budgets (the name for its emissions targets) by quite a margin, as the chart below shows. These targets weren’t even aimed at getting to net-zero emissions by 2050 (the U.K. only had an 80% reduction in mind when they were set), so that hardly bodes well.
While this stalling on climate action is no doubt a symptom of a government distracted by Brexit, that’s no excuse. The U.K. is hosting the UN climate summit next year and if it’s serious about being a leader on the environment, it needs to make a success of it. Overshooting legally-binding carbon budgets doesn’t set a great example.
You may not agree with their tactics, but it’s hard to argue that Extinction Rebellion should be rabble-rousing somewhere else.Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-10-18/extinction-rebellion-is-right-to-protest-climate-action-in-london
In Britain the green movement has won. Britain has a Conservative government which seems genuinely committed to serious investment in renewables.
Britain has unequivocally committed to dismantling their industrial age fossil fuel energy infrastructure, even though the new green infrastructure which is meant to replace fossil fuel hasn’t been built yet.
But none of this is enough. The green movement’s response to this overwhelming victory is to upset ordinary people, and to insult what is likely the greenest government the world has ever seen, for not trying hard enough.