UK carbon emissions plunge

So, what's the good news from the 'economic slowdown'? It's good for the planet, of course.

"The recession has created the illusion that progress is being made to reduce emissions," said Committee on Climate Change chairman Lord Adair Turner, on the back of a report that showed that UK greenhouse gas emissions fell by by 8.6 per cent over the year.

"Our analysis shows that this is almost wholly due to a reduction in economic activity, and not from new measures being introduced to tackle climate change," he said. "So we are repeating our call for new policy approaches to drive the required step change, in order that the UK can ensure a low-carbon recovery."

The Committee is urging the Government to take a raft of measures it deems necessary to meet climate change targets. It says current "light touch" measures won't work and is seeking commitments from Government to a range of measures that are hardly "heavy touch", if you ask us.

It suggests reforming the electricity generation industry by throwing "carrots and sticks" at the generators in order to persuade them to be a bit cleaner. It wants to see more electric cars on the road, assuming no doubt that the carrots and sticks are effective in making electricity generation cleaner. And it wants more people to insulate their homes.

While all these measure are rather limp, the good news is that the Government's axe-swinging is likely to cut jobs, further shrink the economy and therefore reduce our emissions further without us having to try too hard.

Meanwhile, fuel prices are likely to rise still further as BP will have to pay for its oil-spill clean up somehow. The oil companies have for years acted as a cartel so if BP raises its prices the others will happily follow suit and rub their hands over the increased profits, while motorists will either fork out or stay at home.

Yep, the people will suffer but the planet will be all the better off for it.