The proof: UK’s CO2 emissions HAVE risen.

I have blogged several times over the past few months to suggest that the UK’s CO2 emissions are rising not falling (see e.g. http://rupertread.org/rupertread.org/wordpress/?p=1549 and especially http://rupertread.org/rupertread.org/wordpress/?p=1616 ). Now, sadly, it appears that there is strong academic confirmation of what I have been saying:

UK carbon emissions risen not fallen – new paper:

A paper has just been published by Angela Druckman et al of Surrey University (Druckman A, Bradley P, Papathanasopoulou E, Jackson T. (2007) ‘Measuring progress towards carbon reduction in the UK’, latest issue of Ecological Economics).
The paper shows that that the accounting convention chosen for reporting carbon emissions radically changes the conclusions that may be drawn about UK’s progress towards its carbon reduction targets. According to the UNFCCC reporting convention, carbon emissions fell by 5.6% between 1990 (the Kyoto base year) and 2004. However if calculations are based on figures produced in the UK Environmental Accounts, which additionally account for aviation and shipping emissions (excluded from the UNFCCC convention), the picture is less clear. On this basis, progress towards the Kyoto target appears to be almost wiped out, with carbon emissions having risen by 0.3% over the time period. More significantly, when emissions are estimated according to the consumption perspective, (which the report authors take to be the more appropriate approach), it appears that emissions have risen by 8% over the same time span.

Those responsible for NDR nepotism disaster should resign

So, we receive final confirmation today of what I predicted on this blog nearly 4 months ago [http://rupertread.org/rupertread.org/wordpress/?p=1617 ]: that the government does indeed firmly believe that the decision of Norfolk County Council to award the contract to build the NDR (Northern Distributor Road) to their ‘colleagues’ at May Gurney was “legally unsound” [ See today’s EVENING NEWS: http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/news/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=NewsSplash&tBrand=ENOnline&tCategory=NewsSplash&itemid=NOED07%20Jan%202008%2009%3A11%3A43%3A067 ].

This dreadful mistake by the County Council – a mistake which was totally predictable, and which was in fact predicted (the prediction in fact first appears in the public record in some comments made by my colleague Green Party County Councillor Andrew Boswell (see below), way back in July), and yet which, remarkably, officers and Tories on Norfolk County Council are still defending, even after the government have ruled it illegal – will delay building of the NDR by about 2 years (sob…) and (and in a way much more important) will probably cost the taxpayer millions.

Any self-respecting person, under such circumstances, would resign. One is left to draw one’s own conclusions about Adrian Gunson and the other negligent individuals who have created this fiasco.

I am outraged that the people of Norfolk — every single taxpayer, myself included — will have to pay more Council tax or lose invaluable Council services, because of this nepotistic incompetence. Is it any coincidence, that there are several letters on the Letters page in today’s EVENING NEWS, which rightly bemoan the fact that the County Council is proposing to make £22m in cuts in services, this year! How unacceptable is that: waste Council-tax-payers’ money by messing up your effort to build a (huge climate-dangerous) road, and at the same time cut virtually everything else in the Council to the bone…!

As I say: if they had any civic pride and self-respect, those responsible would now gracefully take full responsibility – and resign.

Appendix: How Greens have been warning of this fiasco in the making for 6 months:

On July 24th, 2007, Andrew Boswell specifically raised the issue of legality and the likely challenge to the Councl from the DfT at the Norfolk County Council Cabinet Scrutiny meeting. These are the minutes of his question and the answers from the Cabinet member and officers involved (emphases added):

Dr Boswell commented that the need to seek Department for Transport (DfT) approval to appoint May Gurney raised the question that despite legal opinion, DfT might still have concerns. When would DfT give its opinion? What confidence did NCC have that legal opinion wouldn’t be challenged either by DfT or the European Union (EU) or local competition? Also, how confident was the County Council that the £61m from the Regional Funding Allocation would be available.

The Cabinet Member explained that both the Audit Commission and the Government had supported the SPC. Just because NCC was one of the first local authorities to use the arrangement, didn’t mean it was the wrong approach. NCC had already saved millions through the Partnership.

The Head of Law added that decisions were always open to challenge, but that NCC was as confident as it could be. Every avenue had been pursued to get the assurance NCC needed that it had taken the correct route.

The Director of Planning and Transportation added that he couldn’t see why DfT would have a problem as the SPC was emerging standard practice. Nevertheless, securing DfT support was critical and Planning and Transportation would be seeking an early meeting. The SPC would allow a flexible approach to the extent that there was uncertainty about the Regional Funding Allocation.

Let’s get Norwich’s boundaries right

2008 is the year that will decide the dimensions of the new Norwich unitary authority decided. The area currently proposed for the greater Norwich unitary authority is FAR TOO LARGE. …Norwich Green Party wants the full Norwich urban area to be included in the new Norwich unitary authority. It is is a nonsense for places like Sprowston and Hellesdon to be ‘outside Norwich’, when they are plainly part of Norwich — it makes proper planning in andof the city impossible. …But we will _oppose_ the move to a unitary authority, in the final analysis, if the Boundary Commission decides to include swathes of rural Norfolk including villages or even possibly surrounding market towns in the area of ‘Norwich’. (See “Greens launch ‘middle way’ campaign on boundaries of unitary Norwich”, at

http://www.norwichgreenparty.org/default.aspx?url=http://www.norwichgreenparty.org/archive_news.html

for details).