Thursday, 27 August 2009

GOBBLEDEGOOK ENVIRO-SPEAK

As a councillor I often read reports and sometimes find them heavy going. In fact when I look at some of the ones given out on climate change they seem to be so long and impenetrable that I wonder if anyone reads them at all. The other day Peter Lilley MP sent me a copy of the reply tohis letter to the Climate Change Minister requesting answers to a number of questions. The answers were, of course, non-answers in as much as they were based on a set of assumptions that could not be verified, and could be argued to be completely wrong. In his reply, however, the minister referrred to some reports on websites, and so I thought I would check these out in case there was any useful mis-information in them.

The first one was barred to me, but the second referred to a 560 page report on changing to a low-carbon economy (yawn). Moving swiftly to number three I found a 108 page report about emission trading. Only 108! - I started it, and when I got to page 8 I found this nugget:

"It is difficult to anticipate what fraction of costs firms in the cement and steel industry will be able to pass through, most likely more than 0% and at least in the island situation of the UK also less than 100%. If we assume for example that 50% of the costs of CO2 allowances are passed through, then free allocation covering about half the emissions retains current profit levels. This result is sensitive to assumptions on international trade elasticities." For those with insomnia here is the link to the report.

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