Tuesday the 19th July 2022, and the United Kingdom reaches the highest temperature ever recorded. Yes sceptics will say it was only a two day event, and it is summer so expect high temperatures and move on. However, two decisions were made public that same day in the UK, one which would give the Planet and it’s population’s a fighting chance against Climate Change, the other which will do the exact opposite.
First up we had this exceptionally good news from Friends of the Earth, who teamed up with Client Earth and the Good Law Project to take the UK Government to court:-
The key outcome of this decision is the following:-
Now that we have received a ruling in our favour, the UK Government has eight months to update its climate strategy to include a quantified account of how its policies will actually achieve climate targets. These will have to be based on a realistic assessment of what it actually expects them to deliver. The updated strategy will have to be presented to parliament for scrutiny by MPs.
The new plan should include sound policies that stand up to the scrutiny of the Climate Change Committee (CCC)
Government Net Zero Policy can no longer be full of ifs/buts and maybes, it has to show how reductions will be made and those targets met.
This will mean for Luton Rising and its Development Consent Order application, yet another very expensive rewrite, using yet more money borrowed by Luton Borough Council (LBC). In any sane organisation this would probably mean that the project is paused/stopped immediately to stop this cash drain. Sadly, sanity and protecting the public purse, does not even enter the picture. Throughout the whole of this process, we know The Cunning Plan of LBC is to get someone else to stump up the cash in return for the next concession in 2032, so let us just keep on spending.
The second event of the 19th, which proves that the UK Government still doesn’t get how expanding commercial aviation will mean carbon reduction targets will be missed, was the following:-
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/skys-the-limit-as-uk-sets-out-strategy-to-reach-net-zero-aviation-and-deliver-guilt-free-flying – :~:text=Jet%20Zero%20strategy%20commits%20UK,emission%20by%20the%20same%20year.&text=The%20new%20Jet%20Zero%20strategy,guilt-free%20in%20the%20future.
The keystone of this document appears to be the increased use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), to the heady target of 10% of total fuel consumption. Such vision and grasp of the situation, no wonder UK PLC is in such dire straits across a range of issues. SAF’s are costly to produce and, of course, have a carbon footprint themselves. So it is quite possible that when we add up those levels, to those of the flights that use them, we could see a bigger carbon footprint than by using 100% current fossil fuels?
The costs involved to airlines will be passed on to the end user passenger, no doubt with a nice little premium for the airlines on top. The airlines will make money, no doubt the Government will add the odd tax here and there to make money, whilst carbon emissions grow and not decrease, and the Planet continues to be choked to death.
The UK Government, once again, sits on the fence and plays both ends off against the middle. It says it wants a carbon zero environment, yet still wants commercial aviation to grow. When the simplest option is to publicly declare all commercial aviation growth stops, until technology provides true zero emissions across all aspects of it. The aviation industry will bleat as usual about being overtaken by airports in other European countries at such a decision, but surely if you want to fly to London and the UK, you’ll do so by the most direct means possible, rather than by a middle point?
In terms of Luton Rising and its development plans at Luton airport, it also lets them keep playing the “best use of runway”, “the Government told us to do it” cards. Whilst frittering away millions of pounds of public money in the process.
Come on Central Government, let us have a definitive answer, and not just more flim flam.