Socialist Worker

Green deal is a con

Issue No. 2252

Energy secretary Chris Huhne was set to unveil his new “green deal” in parliament as Socialist Worker went to press.

Much was made of the idea that it would include a legally binding target for cutting carbon emissions—a first in the world.

But the targets may not be legally binding—Britain may be able to “opt-out” of them.

The government claims its plans will cut emissions in half by 2027.

But this is based on Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recommendations which include nuclear power and carbon capture and storage (CCS) as cheap ways to cut emissions.

Both emit carbon at every stage of the process and are expensive. Nuclear is incredibly dangerous and CCS is untested.

Both protect the profits of the big energy companies and allow them to keep emitting carbon.And the CCC backs carbon trading, where richer countries buy the right to pollute more.

The new deals looks set to protect the interests of the rich. The CCC expects the average household fuel bill to rise by £1 every week. But it’s thought that the government has cut a deal to protect firms from rising costs.

A target of 80 percent emissions by 2050 isn’t enough to stave off catastrophic climate change.

Cameron’s claims of heading up the greenest government still look hollow.

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Tue 17 May 2011, 18:18 BST
Issue No. 2252
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