I was a fan of Gordon Brown on climate change. Among other virtues, he was outspoken about the Denialists and he picked up the ball on climate finance and ran with it after Copenhagen. He is leaving No. 10 today and David Cameron will soon be the new Prime Minister. See this from the AP.
So what’s that mean for climate change and energy policy in the UK? Thankfully, the British Conservative Party is a lot less conservative on these issues than other conservative parties in other countries, some of which I won’t name – like the Republican Party in the US. (Oops, I did. Sorry.)
Here is the Conservative webpage for these issues. They seem committed to offshore power and to distributed generation. Like Labor, though, they are also committed to time and money-wasting boondoggles like CCS and nuclear power. The funny thing is on nuclear power, though, that they are for “Clearing the way for new nuclear power stations – provided they receive no public subsidy.” That’s fine with me, because as Citigroup reported last November, in Britain The Economics Say No – without massive amounts of public money. With as Homeric a public debt as Greece, the UK is not about to sink billions of pounds into the black hole of new nuclear.
Meanwhile, the Tories’ junior partner in government, the Liberal Democrats, are fully committed to a “smart decentralised grid” in a “zero-carbon Britain.” Their webpage on Energy and Climate Change is also unequivocal about nukes: “More nuclear power will soak up subsidy, centralise energy production and hinder development of Britain’s vast renewable resources. Nuclear has a dirty legacy and increases global security risks. We oppose construction of further nuclear power stations.” Hear, hear.
Let’s hope the new government steers a steady course toward renewables, energy efficiency, and a “zero-carbon Britain.”