Vince Cable and Chris Huhne clash over carbon emissions

By Mark Horler, Simpol supporter, blogger and networking officer.

In today’s  guardian newspaper was an article with the above headline.  Apparently, Mr Cable has refused to accept the proposed ‘4th carbon budget’ Championed by Mr Huhne. To save on time I will quickly quote just some of Mr Cable’s stated reasons for that refusal:

“In his letter, dated 19 April, Cable says the proposed carbon budget is not ‘cost effective’.”

“He writes: “Agreeing too aggressive a level risks burdening the UK economy, which would be detrimental to UK, undermining the UK’s competitiveness and our attractiveness as a place to do business”.”

“It is important that we strike the right balance between our pursuit to decarbonise the UK economy whilst ensuring that UK economic growth and employment is sustained.”

The Guardian then goes on to explain:

His argument rests on a concern that Huhne’s plan relies on the securing of a cap on emissions trading across Europe that may not materialise. If this were not achieved, the UK would be left cutting carbon emissions unilaterally, which would risk putting industry at a disadvantage compared with outside competitors and “could lead to significant fiscal costs”.

Most crucially, it then adds this:

Instead, Cable argues for a weaker carbon target (my emphasis).

For those that know about Simpol, this is about as clear an example as can be conceived of of the desperate need for a simultaneous policy approach! Indeed Mr Cable’s entire argument rests on the fear of first mover disadvantag. This is the core argument for Simpol, the root cause of our global problems that Simpol so effectively addresses.

Put simply, we will continue to see more and more of precisely this until either disaster strikes or we work together to make a change for the better!


2 thoughts on “Vince Cable and Chris Huhne clash over carbon emissions

  1. The UK needs to decarbonise now and government policy must encourage a green business revolution NOW (the FiT PV review is a U-turn in the wrong direction)! Why does the UK still lag so far behind other European countries like Germany and Denmark? In the UK there is a genuine hunger from communities to find solutions to climate change and energy security. Government needs to be strong and recognise the public wants a low carbon future and UK businesses playing a major role in making this happen.

    • Hi Chris,

      As stated in the above blog, the remedy to the failure to achieve adequate change lies in simultaneous policy removing the fear of competitive disadvantage – which would result from acting unilaterally.

      To answer your other question, there are some regional differences which are presumably influenced by a variety of factors. The shortest answer is probably that the UK has some of the most powerful voices (lobbyists etc) against change and also one of the least democratic and representative forms (by comparison to our European neighbours).


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